The François Jacob Institute of Biology brings together five departments and three services
The last two years in scientific news
Group leader: Pr Philippe Remy
Pr Philippe Remy
Our team specializes in the use of functional imaging to advance towards two objectives:
This approach is made possible by the use of high-resolution imaging tools, the availability of radiotracers (cyclotron) at the SHFJ and access to cohorts of patients through collaboration with the teams at the
Henri Mondor Hospitals.
Parkinson’s disease, markers of
dopaminergic neuron loss, the key feature of this condition, have long been used to assess disease progression. We have also studied other phenomena, such as abnormalities of
nicotinic receptors, of this disease. We are currently investigating whether
inflammatory processes contribute to neuron cell death in this disease, using a tracer likely to provide evidence of such processes in the zones in which neuron death occurs.
We are also exploring the phenotype of subjects carrying a
mutation (LRRK2) that may cause Parkinson’s disease, to determine the duration of the preclinical phase of the disease and to identify markers of this phase.
Huntington’s disease, we use the classical markers of progression of this disease: morphological abnormalities on MRI (e.g. striatal atrophy, figure 1) or
decreases in metabolism and in the
density of striatal D2 receptors.
We have been involved in analyses of the effect of fetal neuron grafts in a pilot trial on patients with Huntington’s disease (Bachoud-Lévi
et al., Lancet 2000, Lancet Neurol 2006, Gaura
et al., Brain 2004, figure 2). This work is currently continuing in the framework of a multicenter controlled trial.In the near future, other treatments, such as gene therapy, will be evaluated with these tools.
Similar studies have been carried out for Parkinson’s disease: imaging was used to evaluate neuron grafts in the 1990s, and is now used to explore the efficacy of
gene therapy in this disease. However, imaging is also used to assess the progression of the disease with a view to identifying drugs that could slow this process (neuroprotective). Finally, functional imaging can also provide descriptions of the mode of action of treatments based on
deep brain electric stimulation of the in this disease (Payoux
et al., Arch. Neurol., 2004). This technique can also help to explain the adverse effects of deep brain stimulation, particularly those of a psychiatric nature (Mallet
et al. PNAS, 2007).
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.