The Douglas Mental Health University Institute is proud to announce that discoveries by two of its researchers are included on the Québec Science list of the top 10 discoveries of 2014. The announcement of this prestigious list, determined by a jury of journalists and scientists, has become a tradition in the scientific world. Each year, it recognizes the most innovative and promising discoveries, and this year, the efforts of Judes Poirier, Ph.D., C.Q., and Gustavo Turecki, M.D., Ph.D., have drawn particular attention.

A recap of their discoveries
Judes Poirier – July 2014

New hope for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: A genetic variant conveys significant protection

Dr. Poirier and his team discovered that a relatively frequent genetic variant actually conveys significant protection against the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease and can delay the onset of the disease by as many as four years. This discovery opens new avenues for treatment against this devastating disease.

Dr. Poirier, whose work has been noted on the top 10 list in the past, expressed his appreciation for the recognition: “What a wonderful vote of confidence and honour this is for Quebec-based research into diseases of the brain,” he stated.

Gustavo Turecki – June 2014

A tiny molecule may help battle depression: Researchers find a small molecule that predicts treatment response for depressed patients

Levels of a small molecule found only in humans and other primates are lower in the brains of depressed individuals, according to researchers at McGill University and the Douglas Institute. This discovery may hold a key to improving treatment options for those who suffer from depression.

The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, explains that Dr. Gustavo Turecki and his team of researchers have discovered that the levels of a tiny molecule, miR-1202, may provide a marker for depression and help detect individuals who are likely to respond to antidepressant treatment.

To consult the Québec Science 2014 top 10 list, please visit

For information and interviews
Florence Meney
Media relations
Communications and Public Affairs Directorate
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
Dobell Pavilion, Suite B-2122
6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Montreal, Quebec H4H 1R3

Tel.: 514-761-6131, ext. 2769