New Article in Journal of Neuroscience
30 Oct 2017

A new article “White matter structure in older adults moderates the benefit of sleep spindles on motor memory consolidation” published in Journal of Neuroscience features research on memory, brain structure, and sleep.

New Article in Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals
5 Oct 2017

A new article “Highly efficient solid phase-supported radiosynthesis of [11 C]PiB using tC18 cartridge as a “3-in-1” production entity.” published in Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals features research on Amyloid imaging and Positron Emission Tomography.

A warm welcome to Melissa, our new lab member
25 Sep 2017

We would like to give a warm welcome to our new lab member Melissa McSweeney. Melissa joined us from Chicago as a Master’s Student. Her project here focuses on the roles of sleep and cognitive fluctuations in Alzheimer’s disease.

Melissa already presented her previous work during Integrated Program in Neuroscience Retreat with Alexa. We are excited to work with her and know she will contribute significantly to our lab’s growth.

You can read more about Melissa, including their previous work and some of their interests, on our people page. 


Lab Retreat 2017
17-20 Aug 2017

The Villeneuve Lab enjoyed a retreat at Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs. The team worked on the upcoming projects. We also enjoyed the beautiful nature and some delicious food afterward!





AAIC 2017 posters
20 Jul 2017

The posters, which were presented by Dr. Villeneuve, along with students Alexa Pichet Binette and Pierre-François Meyer, and consultant Etienne Vachon-Presseau at this year’s AAIC conference in London, are now available on our website  [link to posters].

Villeneuve Lab attends AAIC 2017
20 Jul 2017

Dr. Villeneuve, along with students Alexa Pichet Binette and Pierre-François Meyer, and consultant Etienne Vachon-Presseau attended this year’s AAIC conference in London to present some of their recent work [link to posters]. Villeneuve Lab alumnus Sander Verfaille was also in attendance, and gave a talk on subjective cognitive complaints; a project he worked on during his time in the lab.



Alzheimer’s Association Travel Awards
17 Apr 2017

Congrats to Pierre et Alexa who received travel awards from the Alzheimer’s Association to attend/assist at the international Alzheimer’s Conference (AAIC) that will be held in July in London.



Welcome to new lab members Julie and Sander
26 Sep 2016

We would like to give a warm welcome to two new lab members: Julie Gonneaud and Sander Verfaillie. Julie comes to us from France as a postdoctoral researcher. Her project here focuses on the detection of early biomarker changes in asymptomatic individuals with a familial risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Sander hails from the Netherlands and is here as a graduate researcher. His Ph.D. project aims to investigate the earliest brain changes leading to Alzheimer’s Disease in cognitively intact individuals.

You can read more about Julie and Sander, including their previous work and some of their interests, on our people page.



Villeneuve Lab at the AAIC Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium
02 Sep 2016

A recent article on Alzforum noted the presence of the Villeneuve Lab at the AAIC, particularly Jake Vogel’s presentation. The article is entitled “Amyloid and Neurodegeneration Have Different Underlying Genetics”.

Jake Vogel gave his AAIC talk on AD-like patterns of gray matter volume, default mode network connectivity and their association with time till parental symptom onset in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease.

Alexa Pichet Binette also presented a poster at AAIC 2016, relating high CSF tau to reduced hippocampal volume and subjective cognitive decline in healthy elderly with amyloid pathology.

You can find more Villeneuve Lab posters and presentations under the Publications heading above.




Dr. Villeneuve received two project grants from the CIHR
17 Jul 2016

Dr. Villeneuve received one of the grants as a principal investigator, and the other as a co-investigator – both from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
The first project aims to establish a better understanding of the impact of vascular health on Alzheimer’s disease pathology and clinical expression.

Principal Investigator: Villeneuve, Sylvia C
Co-Investigators: Breitner, John C; Evans, Alan C; Gauthier, Serge G; Hoge, Richard D; Poirier, Judes; Rosa-Neto, Pedro

Read Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting nearly 50% of Canadians over 80 years of age. With the aging of the population, the prevalence of dementia is expected to increase dramatically, generating major social and economic costs. Currently, Alzheimer’s disease has no known cure, and by the time a person meets the clinical diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease, brain and cognitive changes related to the disease are already probably irreversible. It is therefore essential to find ways to delay, slow down, or even prevent this devastating disease. Amyloid and tau are the pathological hallmarks of the disease. Vascular risk factors (i.e. hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes) are well-known risk factors for Alzheimer’ disease in addition of being risk factors for vascular brain injuries, which also increase the likelihood of dementia. The advent of amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) imaging now allows for assessing the interplay between vascular risk factors and Alzheimer’s pathology in-vivo. Amyloid PET imaging has helped establish that vascular risk factors can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease via pathways that directly related to amyloid pathology. The current research proposal will explore mechanisms by which vascular factors may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. More specifically we propose a series of experiments to explore mechanisms by which genetic (e.g. ApoE and other genes related to both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular health) and lifestyle risk factors (e.g. hypertension and diet) may impact brain change and memory deficits. This study will be conducted in cognitively normal and mildly impaired individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. The overall goal is to identify new preventive strategies that may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

The second project aims to investigate the distinctive neuropathology underlying abnormal cognitive decline in remotely concussed former athletes.
Principal Investigator: De Beaumont, Louis
Evans, Alan C; Gauthier, Serge G; Henry, Luke C; Poirier, Judes; Tremblay, Sébastien; Villeneuve, Sylvia C

Read Abstract

The annual prevalence of sports concussion has reached epidemic proportions, making any long-term consequence of the injury sizable in both human and economic terms. Important questions regarding susceptibility and resistance to the long term effects of sports concussion and precisely what they are and how they evolve atop the dynamic substrate of the brain abound. Any discussion of these downstream consequences inevitably leads to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the neurodegenerative disease that is widely believed to be the signature pathology of injuries involving recurrent blows to the head occurring during the practice of contact sports. However, from a scientific standpoint, there are several important gaps in what is known about CTE, making causal links premature, to say the least. Typically, when a new disease/pathology is discovered, the natural progression is to move toward prospective research designs where covariates are accounted for. The current research program proposes a longitudinal investigation aiming to assess the predictive value of in vivo markers of neurodegeneration in the rate of progression and specificity of cognitive/behavioral decline in remotely concussed former athletes. This proposal aims to establish the distinctive neuropathology underlying abnormal cognitive functioning in remotely concussed former athletes. Knowing about the signature pathology of the long term effects of concussion will ultimately help us design optimal treatment and prevention strategies aiming to maintain/restore the quality of life of millions of former athletes with a history of remote concussions.


Three New Grants for the Villeneuve Lab
25 Jun 2016

Congratulations to Alexa Pichet Binette and Jake Vogel, both of whom received grants this month. Alexa received an Alzheimer’s Society of Canada doctoral scholarship of $60,000 to study the early vascular brain changes and related protective factors in elderly at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Jacob received an Alzheimer’s Imaging Consortium travel scholarship and an Alzheimer’s Association International Conference travel scholarship.

Dr. Villeneuve also received the Biomedical New Investigator Grant this month, jointly funded by the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada and Brain Canada. The grant consists of  $225,000, for tracking Alzheimer’s disease progression at the earliest stages using amyloid and tau PET scans.


The PERFORM committee’s first methodological workshop
20 May 2016

The PERFORM Applied Bioimaging Centre, run out of Concordia University, is a unique facility that aims to improve health through prevention.  The centre hosted their first Methodological Workshop on May 20th, 2016, on the topic of “Longitudinal Analysis with Neuroimaging Data”. Dr. Villeneuve was an invited speaker, giving a talk on Imaging Amyloid Proteins in Aging and Dementia. The inaugural event was a great success!





Dr. Villeneuve received an Alzheimer’s Association Research Grant
24 Apr 2016

The grant was for $100,000 to develop an online platform to assess health and lifestyle habits in a cohort of ~300 cognitively normal individuals with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease.


Dr. Villeneuve received funding from the John R. Evans Leaders Fund
Feb 2016

The John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) is described as a “strategic investment tool designed to help institutions attract and retain the very best of today’s and tomorrow’s researchers funding”. The funding is associated with a Canada Research Chair amounting to $250,000.


Dr. Villeneuve received a Canada Research Chair
Jan 2016

The chair is in Early Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and consists of $500,000.























Julie Gonneaud

Sander Verfaillie



Jake Vogel presenting at AAIC

Jake Vogel presenting at AAIC

Alexa Pichet Binette presenting her poster at AAIC

Alexa Pichet Binette presenting her poster at AAIC



Dr. Villeneuve in the office







PERFORM Committee

(from left to right)
Louis Bherer, Pedro Antonio Valdés-Sosa, Sylvia Villeneuve, Alan C. Evans, Felix Carbonell, Mallar Chakravarty, Habib Benali, Pierre Bellec, Christophe Grova