TipsForWomens wanted to focus on innovations in different medical specialties. Dr Wilfrid Casseron, neurologist in Aix-en-Provence, sheds light on the progress that should change the way we treat the brain tomorrow.
What are the advances in neurology that have marked these last years?
Dr Wilfrid Casseron, neurologist: I would cite several points. First of all, there is a better understanding of certain diseases and their mechanisms. For example, we are making progress in understanding neurodegeneration. We understand more and more why in a particular disease, it is certain groups of neurons that will be affected. These advances are possible thanks to fundamental research and genetics. The study of the genome is another important aspect that allows us to classify these diseases. This is an essential step to establish a precise diagnosis.
The other important advance, on which neurology depends, concerns medical imaging. We see concretely what is happening in the brain. It has made a big leap in just a few years, with increasingly precise resolution in MRI, for example, and high-field devices becoming more and more popular.
What advances do you think will mark the coming years?
In the next five years, it is PET scans that will mark nuclear medicine, of course, but also neurology. These examinations will help neurologists make their diagnoses.
The other major advance is the updating of cellular mechanisms. Fundamental research allows the understanding of certain pathologies, which then makes it possible to identify therapeutic targets and subsequently treatments.
What can this change in patients’ daily lives?
Today, diagnosis is faster, easier and above all earlier. This is essential in medicine because the earlier we diagnose, the earlier we treat and the better the chances of not seeing the patient deteriorate due to their illness. In the future, we will even be able to treat patients at a pre-symptomatic stage, and compensate for their pathology with targeted therapy.
In your opinion, is there a line of research that could revolutionize your field?
Molecular therapies in degenerative diseases, the development of interaction with machines, neuro-rehabilitation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, increasingly lightweight exoskeletons which would allow paraplegic patients to walk again… In my opinion, these are progress that will revolutionize neurology, hoping that all patients can benefit from it in the near future.