Our view of microglia—the brain’s innate immune cells—has changed dramatically in the last decade. We now know that these cells are essential for shaping neuronal circuits. Dr. Marie-Ève Tremblay, Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology of Aging and Cognition, is exploring the significance of microglial remodelling of neuronal circuits and elimination of synapses in brain disorders.
She and her research team are determining what role this newly defined mechanism plays in the loss of synapses and cognitive decline among people who suffer from chronic stress, depression, schizophrenia, aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Ultimately, this knowledge will support the design of new therapies that target microglia to promote stress resilience and healthy aging and to improve cognition in individuals suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.