Mission Statement

PALS is a network of international academic centers that have come together to transform windows of vulnerability to mental and physical disorders into windows of neuroscientific advance with diagnostic and therapeutic implications. Vulnerability can result from genetic factors, social adversity, environmental exposures and lifestyle choices. These risk factors interact to increase allostatic load which, in turn, may contribute in the development of brain-based psychopathology (eg. cognitive impairment, depressive disorders, dementia), resulting from and interacting reciprocally with somatic pathology (eg. obesity, Type II diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome).

 

The aims of PALS are:

  • Mechanistic and epidemiological modeling of how allostatic load measures may lead to maladaptive brain plasticity and bodily dysfunction;
  • Identification of mechanisms leading to positive plasticity and resilience;
  • Development and validation of "vertical models" involving reverse and direct translation (human to animal and vice versa)

 

To achieve these aims, PALS will initially focus on:

  • Mechanistic links between insulin resistance and neurocircuitry underlying emotional and cognitive regulation involving reverse and direct translation
  • Creating a "big data" resource by bringing together national and international databases (currently from the Netherlands, Canada, and the UK)
  • Developing high capability bioinformatics to analyze and integrate multiscale data, including but not limited to genetic and transomic data, metabolic and endocrine markers, multimodal imaging datasets, cognitive measures and optogenetics.

 

As  such, the overarching goal of PALS is to increase the understanding of how brain and body dysfunction interact in important and highly prevelant human diseases.

 

 

Please explore the three tabs located in the left sidebar to learn more about the 3Ds of insulin resistance: depression, diabetes, and dementia.

 

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