Repairing Malfunctioning Brain Circuits
Brain disorders like Parkinson's disease and depression occur when neurons—the basic building blocks of the nervous system—behave erratically. That makes it of paramount importance to identify malfunctioning neurons and to find new ways to either block abnormal activity or drive underperforming neurons in these disorders.
That’s exactly what Dr. Andres Lozano, Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience, is doing. He aims to understand why neuronal function becomes disrupted and to locate and characterize the pathological neurons within brain circuits. His research focuses on understanding how malfunctioning neurons can lead to widespread brain dysfunction, and how interventions in the brain can produce clinical benefits.
Lozano is developing new treatments, such as deep brain stimulation, which involves implanting electrodes in specific brain circuits to adjust their activity. The technique has been found to provide relief from the symptoms of Parkinson's and is showing promise in treating depression.
With treatments like deep brain stimulation, Lozano is making significant strides in restoring normal brain function to patients who are not being helped by current treatments.