Claude Messier


Claude Messier
Full Professor

Ph.D., Psychology, McGill University, Montréal, 1986
M.A., Psychology, McGill University, Montréal, 1982
B.A., Psychology, Université Laval, Québec, 1980

Room: Vanier 2076A
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 4562
Work E-mail:

Claude Messier


During his Master's and PhD thesis, Messier discovered that ingestion or injection of glucose could improve memory. He went on to study the effect in humans and discovered that the effect was more prominent in people with impaired glucose tolerance. In 1996, he wrote a review that explain why and how diabetes would be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease - at a time when many researcher were stating that the two disease were almost mutually exclusive. Fourteen years later, diabetes is recognized as a major risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and several of the mechanistic hypotheses proposed in that article have proven useful. A subsequent review in 2003 identified cerebrovascular disease as a major mediating factor for the association between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease - a hypothesis that is being supported by most recent studies. Messier also discovered that the expression of the main blood to brain glucose transporter (GLUT1) increases when neurons are being activated by new learning or more recently simply by repetitive behavior such as running. This represents a major change in the view that blood vessels and glucose transport remained unchanged and only blood flow was responsive to brain activation. Finally, banking on his expertise on brain aging, Messier has teamed up with TelAsk technologies (via a NSERC Strategic grant) to develop interactive voice response systems (the telephone-based computerized systems that interpret conversation) that adapt to the cognitive limitations (the older of us would call this a different style) of older people so that they can use these systems that will be central in the adaptation of the health care system to a rapidly aging population by providing useable voice response systems. He is also helping an Ontario company, Spectral Applied Research, develop a new infra-red confocal microscope.

Office hours : Monday 9:00 - 17:00 I am at my office most days of the week, 9h00-17h00

  • Full Professor
  • Member of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies

Research Interests :

  • Functional changes produced by memory processing: immunocytochemical detection
  • Interaction between glucose metabolism and memory processes in animals and humans
  • Cognitive aging
  • Physiology and neuropsychology of memory
  • Interactive voice response systems and neuropsychological tests
  • Adult neurogenesis and oligodendrocyte precursor cells
  • Brain and diabetes

Key Words:

diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, cognitive aging, adult neurogenesis, glucose transporters, vascular aging, neuropsychology, interactive voice response systems, memory

Fields of Interest

  • diabetes
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • cognitive aging
  • adult neurogenesis
  • glucose transporters
  • vascular aging
  • memory
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