New algorithm improves ability to generate better genetic predictors

Researchers now have a new, more refined tool, the Polygenic-Risk-Score (PRS) on Spark, to help them understand an individual’s genetic risk for common illnesses, including mental illnesses. In an initial validation study, the newly developed software package successfully generated a polygenic risk score for a cohort of Canadian women that explained and predicted more of […]

How emotions can affect childbirth, CTV interview

When it comes to maternal mental health, sadly, Canada lags behind other countries, like Australia and the UK, where pre- and post-natal mental health are subject to regular screening. Listen to CTV’s News at Noon, where Dr Kieran O’Donnell discussed the impact of prenatal anxiety and depression on the mother’s and the child’s long-term mental health with news […]

Why Maternal Mental Health Matters, Q&A with Dr K. O’Donnell

May 2, 2018 is World Maternal Mental Health Day Organizations around the world — from Canada, the UK, the USA, Turkey, Australia, Argentina, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Germany, Nigeria, and more — are leading efforts to raise awareness about maternal mental health through a collective social media push and in-country events. In response to the call, […]

Eczema, an early warning sign for potential mental illness

Eczema may be an early warning sign for potential mental health problems. According to Dr Patricia P Silveira, “When treating young girls for childhood cutaneous allergies, such as eczema, healthcare professionals should be aware of the increased potential for vulnerability for mental health problems. Understanding and investigating these types of associated risks is crucial to […]

Molecular proof – Teen brain impacted by environment

A new study in mice provides molecular-level proof that the environment we are raised in continues to exert significant influence on brain development beyond childhood into adolescence. The study, published in Nature Communications, demonstrated that the environment in which an adolescent is raised causes measurable epigenetic modifications that influence which genes are activated or muted […]