Neurodegenerative Diseases

The Alzheimer Society of Canada estimates that by 2038 there will be 1.125 million Canadians living with some form of cognitive impairment. The projected incidence for new cases of dementia by 2038 will be one new case every 2 minutes or 257,800 new dementia cases/year compared with 2009 incidence of one new case every 5 minutes. Overall these statistics provide us with the harsh reality that dementia and other cognitive impairments are major health issues facing our society that present challenges for the person with dementia, their caregivers, families and communities.

The human brain has one of the highest metabolic rates in the body, consuming approximately 20% of the energy produced by the body.  Changes in brain metabolism occur throughout the aging process in healthy brains and in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Some metabolic changes may be beneficial adaptations, while others may contribute to neuronal dysfunction.

The Marignani Team is interested in understanding the molecular processes involved in the development of neurodegenerative diseases. We are specifically interested in how brain bioenergetics and epigenetics contribute to the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.