What motivated you to study in the field of Parkinson’s?
At first, I was interested by the human brain and its functioning. I studied biochemistry and pharmacy which then led me to neurochemistry and neuropharmacology. I then worked under the direction of Dr Paul Bédard and Dr Thérèse Di Paolo, both global leaders in Parkinson’s disease research with a focus on its treatments. I realized the extent to which current treatments have an almost miraculous effect on symptoms of the disease, but unfortunately the adverse effects are almost just as unpleasant. I have always been involved in research projects related to Parkinson’s disease since the age of 28. Since 2007, I have been interested in how nutrition can be used to prevent and treat the disease.
What are the goals of your research project?
Parkinson Québec supported our work on omega-3 fatty acids and Parkinson’s disease. We have observed in animals that a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps prevent the loss of dopamine cells that cause the symptoms of the disease. This diet also helps living cells work better. More recently, we began studying the mechanisms leading to the death of these cells with the help of our collaborators in Saskatchewan. They provided us with samples from patients who died from the disease.