The 2nd congress of Centers of Excellence in Neurodegeneration (CoEN) took place in Lille on the 14th and 15th of November 2019. It was organized by the Lille Center of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Disorders (LICEND). This meeting welcomed seven French research centers of excellence in neurodegenerative diseases: Lille (LICEND), CoEN Montpellier, Grenoble (GREEN), Toulouse (NEUROTOUL), Bordeaux (BIND), Marseille (DHUNE) and CoEN Paris. Each CoEN introduced themselves in 180 seconds, then presented their works through several talks.  

Main neurodegenerative diseases were addressed, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease. Genetics, biomarker’s, diagnostic, and innovative treatments were presented. For example, Caroline Moreau from Lille hospital presented her study about the intra-cerebro ventricular administration of anaerobic dopamine to treat Parkinson’s disease symptoms, that could avoid motor complications linked to oral administration of L-dopa (the classical treatment  of Parkinson’s disease).

The aim of CoEN is to gather not only researchers in neurosciences and clinicians, but also human and social sciences researchers. Thus, there was a talk about conjugal dynamics for couples facing Parkinson’s disease (SCAlab, Lille), and a presentation of a sociological study about life condition for family concerned by Huntington’s disease (University of Grenoble). The project MybrainRobbie (AP-HP Paris), a new initiative to promote brain health in school-age children was also presented, as well as a tool for accompanying people to evaluate cognitive deficits of old persons, then to stimulate the brain of patient with cognitive disorders (ExoStim, Marseille).

The congress was enriched by a plenary conference by Vincent Prevost (Inserm U1172, Lille), about tanycytes, which are specialized glial cells lining the wall of the third ventricle in the median eminence of the hypothalamus. These cells play a fundamental role in transmission of circulating metabolic signal, in particular leptin hormone, to hypothalamic neurons that control food intake.

Our PhD student Véronique De Conto attended this congress to be updated about last breakthroughs in neurodegenerative diseases-related research and treatments, and to develop cerebral in vitro models as close as possible to researchers’ needs!  

Thanks to the organization committee and to all CoEN for these very interesting days!


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