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Translational Research


One of the very unique aspects of The Neuro is the integration of fundamental biological research with applied research in human physiology and mechanisms of human disease.

Clinical Research Unit

The Neuro’s Clinical Research Unit (CRU) evaluates the efficacy of new drugs and treatment regimens. Many patients come to because they want to have access to the newest medications and diagnostic procedures. Since 1992, 140 trials have been conducted within the CRU, giving over 1000 patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke, ALS or brain cancer access to new treatments.  The CRU has access to the most advanced medical technology available today. The CRU conducts clinical trials sponsored by pharmaceutical companies or granting agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the USA. All clinical trials are approved by Health Canada (and the FDA if conducted in USA) and have passed a rigorous review by The Neuro's Research Ethics Board or the McGill Institutional Review Board. All experimental medications used in clinical trials have been tested for safety.

The CRU is dedicated to:
• Aiding the advancement of neuroscience through clinical research
• Participating in clinical trials to identify new or more effective treatments.
• Supplying study subjects with the best quality of care.
• Providing high quality data to sponsors and investigators.

For more information, please visit the CRU website.


GBA-Quebec Study Group (G-QUEST) – Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, with a prevalence of 1-2% of the population over the age of 60. As the world’s population ages, the number of PD patients in 2050 is projected to be 25-50 million. Since PD is a long, slowly progressive disease, the financial, social, psychological and health implications are huge.

Mutations in GBA are the most common genetic risk factor for Parkinson’s disease (PD), and the enzymatic activity of glucocerebrosidase, the enzyme encoded by GBA, is often reduced – even in PD patients without GBA mutations. Understanding the function and dysfunction of GBA in Parkinson’s disease, and developing GBA-targeting drugs, may be critical for PD patients.

The mechanisms underlying the effect of GBA mutations and glucocerebrosidase activity in PD are still not known. While GBA-specific drugs are already in different phases of development, they all follow the same pipeline of development as previous disease modifying drugs that have failed. For these reasons, G-QUEST (GBA Quebec Study Group) was established.

G-QUEST is the first group of scientists and clinicians who are dedicated to solving the numerous challenges in GBA-PD research. Together, we aim to facilitate the development of GBA-targeting drugs into phase I clinical trials by:

  • Using different approaches than that typically used for drug development; and
  • testing new hypotheses; and
  • engaging the power of the Open Science collaborative approach

Learn more about G-QUEST.

The Montreal Neurological Institute & Hospital is a McGill University research and teaching institute; delivering the highest quality of care to patients, as part of the Neuroscience Mission of the McGill University Health Centre. The Neuro is proud to be a Killam Institution, supported by the Killam Trusts.