Sugar cravings may be due to dopamine dysfunction

Moving beyond the overly simplistic unhealthy lifestyle paradigm, researchers are slowly uncovering the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms behind obesity. Recent research by Ludmer Centre researcher Dr Patricia P Silveira at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and colleagues has shown that intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), where a fetus fails to grow at a normal rate […]

Limitations of birth-weight cutoffs to define long-term vulnerability

  New research highlights the limitations of using standard birth-weight cutoffs to define long-term vulnerability. Children born too small or too large are at increased risk for several diseases later in life, including metabolic and mental-health problems. Early identification is important to initiating proper and close follow-up; however, Ludmer Centre researchers and collaborators led by […]

Cell morphology might relate to differences in maternal behaviour

New research provides insight into how a profound remodeling of cell morphology in a specific brain region —the medial preoptic area (MOPA)— might relate to individual differences in maternal behavior. Both pregnancy hormones and pup sensory stimuli increase neuronal activation leading to a remodeling of neuronal circuits within certain brain regions, including the MPOA, that […]

Could our DNA decrease susceptibility to stress and overeating?

Could a genetic variant in our DNA decrease susceptibility to stress and overeating? Glucocorticoids, which are linked to overeating, regulate our body’s energy supply in response to stress. Ludmer Centre researcher Dr Patricia P Silveira and colleagues from research institutes in Brazil, Toronto and Montreal found that adolescents who carry an A3669G variant of the […]