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 […]

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 […]

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 […]