The Brain Research Centre is built around six pillars of neuroscience research:
- neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS)
- multiple sclerosis
- mental health and addiction
Two fundamental principles underpin each research pillar:
- promoting neuronal survival – improving our understanding of the mechanisms that determine how and why particular brain cells die and how this might be prevented
- promoting functional recovery – determining the potential for neural regeneration, which is the “re-growing” of the connections between cells that have been lost due to disease or injury, along with devising new methods of early diagnosis
Driving this research are the specialized laboratories that incorporate medical science’s most recent advances in technology at the cellular and molecular levels. The Brain Research Centre is committed to developing new technologies to aid diagnosis and treatment. Two key areas of technology at the Centre are diagnostic imaging, which is the observation of activity of the living brain, and genomics, which is the application of the newest tools in gene technology and gene therapy.
In addition, two broad research themes encompass the programs outlined above: the learning brain and the aging brain. The learning brain theme covers areas such as development, synaptic plasticity, genetics, computational approaches, and rehabilitation. The aging brain theme includes studies of normal aging from a molecular perspective, molecular strategies for ameliorating the effects of degeneration, studies of neuroendocrine disorders associated with aging, and studies of memory and of motor and cognitive function.