Funding for research on neurodegenerative diseases

With funding of $663,000, Brain Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are delighted to support the research projects of Dr. Liang Li of the University of Alberta and Drs. Meaghan O’Reilly of Sunnybrook Research Institute and the University of Toronto. Those projects were suggested for funding as part of the 2022 European Union Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), which issued a global call for research into the mechanisms of non-pharmacological interventions e.g. on the molecular or cellular level. The major objective is to speed up the process of uncovering causes, developing cures, and identifying better ways to care for people with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s.

Dr. Li suggested that looking into metabolomic and lipidomic levels could be a big step forward in studying Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It has been demonstrated that high-fat nutritional supplementation considerably increases the life rate of many ALS patients. Hypothalamic mechanisms of High-Calorie intervention in ALS (HiCALS) will test this notion that the high-fat diet works by correcting hypothalamic problems that cause hypermetabolism in ALS. Hypermetabolism is a newly reported clinical characteristic of ALS that is linked to a shorter life expectancy and is thought to happen before the disease becomes noticeable.

The goal of HiCALS is to show that a high-fat diet is a new, safe, and effective way to slow or stop the progression of ALS. For this study, Dr. Li uses new global metabolomics with chemical isotope labeling and lipidomics profiling at TMIC

For more information about the assays provided by Dr. Li, please contact us.


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