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 […]

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 McGill and the Douglas Institute and her colleagues has shown that altered dopamine signaling may increase a preference for more palatable high-sugar foods leading to a risk […]

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 […]