Dr. Elise Gondard
Dr. Elise Gondard, originally from Lyon, France, was introduced to neuroscience research during her Master’s degree at the University of Claude Bernard. It was at this time that she studied the involvement of serotoninergic receptors in the adverse effects of postnatal fluoxetine in adult life. During her PhD, Dr. Gondard diversified her background and studied the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle by histamine and its receptors using knock-out mouse models. During these years, she developed a deep interest in neurosciences and more specifically in neurodegenerative diseases. She then moved to Toronto and joined the team of Dr. Andres Lozano at Toronto Western Hospital as a postdoctoral fellow to apply her expertise in electrophysiology and behavioral monitoring to deep brain stimulation (DBS).
DBS refers to the therapeutic delivery of electrical current through implanted electrodes in precisely targeted areas of the brain. DBS has proven effective in treating a range of neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, dystonia, pain and psychiatric illness. Recently, the beneficial effects of DBS have been reported for memory enhancement in rodents and humans. Dr. Lozano’s group was the first to perform a study in patients with Alzheimer’s disease investigating the safety of DBS targeting the limbic system as a potential treatment for dementia/cognitive impairment. Despite the widespread and successful use of DBS in patients, the exact mechanisms of action for DBS remain unknown. Dr. Gondard is currently investigating the effects of forniceal DBS on protein expression in the rat hippocampus. She will also examine the effects of DBS as a potential treatment for AD and cognitive dysfunction to improve memory in a rat model.