Comment l'environnement précoce interagit avec la susceptibilité développementale et le sexe de l'enfant pour modérer la trajectoire de la psychopathologie chez les enfants de 0 à 12 ans - du développement à la pratique


Ashley Wazana

CIUSSS du Centre-Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal


Domaine : santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Senior

Concours 2019-2020

The gender difference is among the most robust of findings in psychiatric disorders research. With the burden of disease the highest in the world for psychiatric disorders (eg ADHD and Depression), understanding these differences could be a key to making up the gap with other chronic disorders whose prevalence and incidence have in contrast decreased. Findings associating prenatal experience and psychopathology provide interesting directions. Differences by sex and gender in the response to prenatal stress are also well documented in early emotional development but less in later age. Differences in genetic susceptibility to prenatal stress are also important. Finally, the early environment such as early maternal care might positively or negatively influence the effects of prenatal, gender and genetic risks. For cost-effective interventions to exploit the higher neuroplasticity in children, such a complex developmental approach is needed to identify those at risk.

This is more poignant given the availability effective individual and family interventions. Arguably what is missing is not a list of risk factors, but rather a precise knowledge of how factors interact to predict those at higher risk. We will examine these important questions by means of a collaboration of 5 prolific international longitudinal cohorts (DREAM BIG research), in Canada (MAVAN, UBC prenatal), the UK (ALSPAC), the Netherlands (GENERATION-R) and Singapore (GUSTO). With samples of 190-15,290 subjects with comparable data on prenatal exposure, genes, the early environment and temperament as well as mental disorders until early adolescence, I will develop a complex model of prediction which would support efforts for prevention and early identification and intervention of these chronic disorders. In parallel, we examine samples of treated child with psychiatric disorders to test whether some of the same predictors of early mental disorders also can be used to understand better response to treatment.