"To save brains at the start of life and help protect them better at the end
of life are among the main aims of the Foundation"

Why the brain?

The brain is a complex organ. Its study was limited until the remarkable development of imaging techniques (radiology, ultrasound, scintigraphy, nuclear magnetic resonance) and biological investigation. Nowadays, most of these techniques can be used for a fœtus, a child or an adult. Moreover, with increasing life expectancy, aging of the brain is becoming a major public health issue demanding particular attention.

About the Foundation

The Thérèse and René Planiol Foundation is a registered charity (publication in the Journal Officiel of 2 February 2005). It is one of the rare research foundations created by a person in her own lifetime and with her own money. The Ministry of Research provided additional financial support to the endowment made by Madame Thérèse Planiol, the founding president
By the late fifties, the founding members were already international pioneers in the development, perfection and application of the latest physical methods of exploring human organs and blood vessels (scintigraphy, Doppler echography, MRI, etc.).

Main aims

In line with the initial interests of the founder and the specialisations of the Scientific Committee, the Foundation's scientific and medical objectives are to continue exploratory work into the brain. Damage to the brain can have devastating consequences. The aims of the Foundation are thus:

  • to acquire a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in normal brain functioning,
  • to develop strategies for the prevention and early detection of brain disease or damage and monitor its progress under treatment,
  • to study higher order aspects of brain behaviour under a variety of influences (intellectual effort, music, artistic creation, psychiatric disorders, autism),
  • to develop scientific links with national and international teams working on the brain.

In the area of prevention, the Foundation can be proactive in information campaigns about the most frequent causes of brain damage and how to prevent them. In addition to the diseases causing the greatest concern today (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, etc.), recovery from conditions such as tumours, abscesses, aneurisms and strokes can be assisted by early detection using physics technology.

The Foundation's work draws on high quality expertise and facilities at the Teaching Hospital of Tours and research teams at the Faculty of Medicine and the François Rabelais University, where state-of-the-art biomedical technologies (MRI, Doppler echography, scintigraphy, electrophysiology) are regularly applied in neurology and psychiatry.

Future actions

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