Category Archives: Neurosciences, cognitives sciences, neurology and psychiatry

Predicting the Onset of Anxiety Disorders in Adolescence Thanks to Artificial Intelligence

troubles anxieux _CP Martinot

For the first time, a team led by Inserm researchers Jean-Luc Martinot and Éric Artiges at the Developmental Trajectories and Psychiatry laboratory (Inserm/ENS Paris-Saclay) and the Borelli Center (CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay) looked for factors that would predict the onset of anxiety disorders in adolescence. They monitored the mental health of a group of adolescents aged 14 to 23. Thanks to artificial intelligence, they have identified the warning signs most predictive in adolescence of the onset of anxiety disorders in these young adults.

Retour sur 5 avancées marquantes à l’Inserm en 2022

L’année 2022 a été marquée par de belles avancées pour l’Inserm qui ont, chacune dans leur domaine, contribué à améliorer la santé des citoyens et le quotidien de nombreux patients. Avant d’entamer une nouvelle année, nous vous proposons de jeter un coup d’œil dans le rétro.

ASD: Towards a Better Understanding of the Molecular Mechanisms of Autism


While great progress has been made in recent years in the understanding of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), its underlying molecular mechanisms remain fairly poorly documented. Several hypotheses have been put forward regarding the possible dysfunction of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, but rigorous scientific studies are still lacking in order to validate them. In a new publication, researchers from Inserm and Université de Tours at the Imaging and Brain unit have shown that specific receptors of glutamate, one of the most important neurotransmitters in the nervous system, are expressed in large quantities in the brains of adults with ASD. However, this overexpression of the receptors does not occur at earlier stages of development.

Alzheimer’s disease: newly identified rare gene variants significantly increase the risk of developing this pathology.


An international consortium has identified rare variants in two new genes that markedly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The work was led by two research groups in France (headed respectively by Gaël Nicolas, Rouen and Jean-Charles Lambert, Lille) and a group in the Netherlands (headed by Henne Holstege, Amsterdam). The new results provide a better understanding of the genetics of AD and open up new research themes on more relevant in vitro and in vivo models. The consortium’s findings are also likely to catalyze the development of new strategies for treating AD.

A potential therapy to reduce the side effects of a chemotherapy

Cisplatin is a chemotherapy indicated to fight tumors in many types of cancer. However, it does have major side effects – especially kidney toxicity, that can lead to acute kidney failure. In addition, patients treated with cisplatin also often report high levels of neuropathic pain. Scientists from Inserm, Université de Lille, University Hospital Lille, CNRS and Institut Pasteur de Lille within the CANTHER and Lille Neuroscience & Cognition laboratories, in collaboration with researchers from Michigan State University (USA), have identified a drug that could be a game changer for patients. Istradefylline, which is already approved for Parkinson’s disease, could not only reduce the harmful effects of cisplatin but also improve its anti-tumor properties. These findings will now need to be confirmed in a clinical trial.

L’anesthésie générale dans l’enfance pourrait-elle avoir des conséquences cérébrales structurelles et comportementales ?

Une étude publiée dans la revue internationale Anesthesia and Analgesia (2022) révèle les possibles conséquences cérébrales d’une exposition précoce à l’anesthésie générale en pré-clinique puis chez l’Homme. Mené par des scientifiques de l’Inserm et de l’Université de Caen Normandie avec le CHU de Caen Normandie, ce travail met en évidence une possible diminution localisée de volume de la substance grise associée à des modifications émotionnelles liée à une exposition précoce à l’anesthésie générale.

Dans le cerveau des procrastinateurs


Une équipe de chercheurs de l’Inserm, du CNRS, de Sorbonne Université et de l’AP-HP au sein de l’Institut du Cerveau à Paris vient de décrypter comment notre cerveau se comporte lorsque nous procrastinons. L’étude, menée chez l’humain, combine imagerie fonctionnelle et tests comportementaux et a permis aux scientifiques d’identifier une région du cerveau où se joue la décision de procrastiner : le cortex cingulaire antérieur. L’équipe a également mis au point un algorithme permettant de prédire la tendance à la procrastination des participants. Ces travaux sont publiés dans Nature Communications.

Preventing dementia in seniors: meditation still under investigation

Image prétexte montrant des seniors pratiquer la méditation

Meditation as a tool to prevent dementia and improve the mental health and well-being of elderly people is one of the avenues explored by the European Medit-Ageing research program, coordinated by Inserm. As part of this program, researchers from Inserm and Université de Caen Normandie, in collaboration with French and European teams, observed the impact of 18 months of meditation training on certain brain structures involved in regulating attention and emotions in healthy people over 65. While their findings, to be published in JAMA Neurology, show a positive impact on attentional and socio-emotional regulation capacities, they do not show any significant benefits of meditation on the volume and functioning of the brain structures studied, in comparison to control groups. However, they do call for further research to study the brain as a whole, over longer time periods, and with more participants.

New Avenues to Reduce Long-Term Complications in Preterm Infants

Children born prematurely have a higher risk of not just cognitive and sensory disorders, but also infertility in adulthood. In a new study, a team of researchers from Inserm, University Hospital Lille and Université de Lille at the Lille Neuroscience and Cognition laboratory has opened up interesting avenues for improving their prognosis. By conducting research into a rare disease known as congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, the scientists have discovered the key role of an enzyme and the therapeutic potential of the neurotransmitter that it synthesizes – nitric oxide – in reducing the risk of long-term complications in the event of prematurity.

Kétamine et dépression : un mécanisme de l’effet antidépresseur dévoilé

La dépression est le trouble psychiatrique le plus fréquent. Crédits : Adobe Stock

Des chercheurs ont identifié l’un des mécanismes d’action de la kétamine qui permet d’expliquer ses effets antidépresseurs.

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