The team “Early stages of Parkinson’s disease” research center Jean-Pierre AUBERT in Lille.
Our team is composed of 9 permanent researchers combining neurobiologists, pharmacologists and neurologists (professor, associate professor and clinicians) as well as one engineer and one technician. We participate in the training of BSc, MSc, master’s and PhD students as well as post-doctoral fellows. We study Parkinson’s disease from the earliest stages of disease, including stages preceding motor deficits observed in fully declared disease, in to characterize early stage molecular events and their evolution. Some of these molecular events are at the origin of or contribute to mechanisms leading to the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. The identification of these initial molecular modifications should enable us to understand how the disease develops and evolves. This will also help us to diagnose it more easily, at earlier stages and develop strategies for improved treatments.
The origin of the disease is multifactorial and only a limited number of causes have been identified. Thanks to the participation of patients and control subjects providing us with biological samples (blood, urine, skin, cerebrospinal fluid), we have identified genetic and environmental factors that may trigger the disease. We have developed experimental models (derived from human samples, or developed by exposing models to pesticides) and began the establishment of a map of early cellular disturbances of PD. We are now seeking to better understand these disturbances and devise strategies to modulate these disturbances in order to delay the onset of the disease. This work also involves developing experimental models (using tools such as viral vectors, CRISPR / Cas9, transgenesis) in order to study approaches that will slow the evolution of the disease. In addition, we seek to define if some early disturbances in PD can serve as markers that could enable a quicker and earlier diagnosis.