IETF Funded Research 2008

Dr. Frederic Calon, assistant professor, Molecular Endocrinology and Oncology Research Center at Laval University Medical Center, Quebec City, Canada, received a $25,000 IETF research grant in 2007. Early results of his research are encouraging.

Dr. Calon’s study, “Postmortem Neurochemical Alteration in Essential Tremor Patients: A Clinicopathologic Study of Essential Tremor,” focused on postmortem neurochemical investigations of the cerebellum of ET patients to identify alterations with the intent of developing new treatment strategies.

Current treatments of many brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s stem from discoveries made by directly studying the brains of patients who died with these diseases. That is not the case with ET because there is a critical lack of such studies performed with patients who suffered from ET.

In collaboration with Dr. Ali Rajput, Dr. Calon and his staff completed a comparative study of the cerebellum (a brain structure thought to play a role in ET) from patients that suffered from ET, Parkinson’s disease or no neurological disorders.

Dr. Rajput is a neurologist specializing in movement disorders. Since 1969, he has collected brain samples from patients who came to his movement disorder clinic and were diagnosed with various motor affl ictions.

During the first year of the research project, Dr. Calon and his staff extracted, processed and stored a series of samples in order to perform a multitude of experiments. Up to now, they have identified changes in specific cerebellar proteins that could play a role in ET. They will proceed to additional studies to confirm the preliminary data and to investigate possible applications.