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 […]

Separating children from parents can negatively affect brain development, CBC interview

Those administering policies that separate children from their parents clearly don’t understand the effects of early childhood trauma on the developing brain. In an interview with Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald,  Dr Michael Meaney explains how parents insulate their children from stresses while their brains mature. When children are traumatically separated from parents their brain is forced to […]

LUDMER CENTRE TAKES OPEN SCIENCE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Since arriving at McGill and the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital more than 30 years ago, Alan Evans has helped the University and its network of affiliated hospitals build one of the world’s largest infrastructures of neuroscience research – from the high-resolution Big Brain atlas to supercomputing data-storage technology. These developments and others by his fellow researchers […]

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, […]

Livestreaming World Maternal Mental Health Day symposium

World Maternal Mental Health Day 2018 – Begin Before Birth Canada Symposium Due to popular demand, we are live-streaming our Maternal Mental Health Matters symposium. On May 1st, 2018 visit the NEURO hospital’s YouTube channel to participate in the symposium from  9AM-5PM. Note: access will only be available from 9am to 5pm at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvrUuEvxOsXxq9-T3B9liyQ/live ) Download the PDF program or visit the […]

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 […]

Childhood experiences gets under the skin: for better and worse

A new study shows that childhood adversity can get ‘under the skin’ and influence epigenetic markers in our blood. Interestingly, the study also suggests for the first time, that perinatal interventions, that tackle early adversity, might have similar effects. The findings are based on a 30-year trial of the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), which has shown […]

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 […]