The Neuromuscular Disease Network for Canada

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Bernard Brais

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Professor of Neurology, McGill University

Co-director of the Rare Neurological Diseases Group, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital

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Biography

Bernard Brais, MDCM, MPhil, PhD, FRCP(C) is Full Professor of Neurology and Human Genetics at McGill University in Montreal. He is a trained neuromuscular neurologist, PhD in laboratory human genetics and historian of medicine. He is co-director of the Montreal Neurological Institute’s Rare Neurological Diseases Group since 2011. He is co-director of McGill’s Neuromuscular and Neurogenetics Fellowships. His specialized practice is centered on the diagnosis and rehabilitation of rare often undiagnosed neurogenetic diseases, in particular: myopathies, ataxias, sensory neuropathies and leukoencephalopathies. Dr. Brais’ laboratory for the past 20 years has largely focussed on identifying new genes and mutations that cause hereditary diseases that are more prevalent in the French Canadian population of Quebec due to founder effects. He played a key role in the first identification of the genes responsible for: Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (PABPN1, 1998), Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type II (HSN2/WINK1, 2004), Limb Girdle Muscular dystrophy LGMD2L-anoctamin 5 (ANO5, 2010), Posterior column ataxia and retinitis pigmentosa (FLVCR1, 2010), 0PolR3-related leukodystrophy (POLR3A and POLR3B, 2011), and congenital myopathy with fibre type disproportion (ZAK, 2017).  Since 2007, he has been an international leader on collaborative research on Autosomal Recessive Spastic Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay (ARSACS).

Recent publications

Bourassa, J, Routhier, F, Gagnon, C, Rahn, C, Hébert, LJ, St-Gelais, R et al.. Wheelchair mobility, motor performance and participation of adult wheelchair users with ARSACS: a cross-sectional study. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2020. 1-8 PMID:33307884

Gauquelin, L, Hartley, T, Tarnopolsky, M, Dyment, DA, Brais, B, Geraghty, MT et al.. Channelopathies Are a Frequent Cause of Genetic Ataxias Associated with Cerebellar Atrophy. Mov Disord Clin Pract. 2020.7 (8)940-949 PMID:33163565

Pelletier, F, Perrier, S, Cayami, FK, Mirchi, A, Saikali, S, Tran, LT et al.. Endocrine and Growth Abnormalities in 4H Leukodystrophy Caused by Variants in POLR3A, POLR3B, and POLR1C. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021.106 (2)e660-e674 PMID:33005949

Bourassa, J, Best, KL, Gagnon, C, Hébert, LJ, Brais, B, Routhier, F et al.. Measurement properties of wheelchair use assessment tools in adults with autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2020. 1-9 PMID:32981404

Bourcier, D, Bélanger, M, Côté, I, Brais, B, Synofzik, M, Brisson, JD et al.. Documenting the psychometric properties of the scale for the assessment and rating of ataxia to advance trial readiness of Autosomal Recessive Spastic Ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay. J Neurol Sci. 2020.417 117050 PMID:32736199

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