Impacts de l'adversité en début de vie et du génotype sur le développement des circuits attentionnels


Sherif Karama

Centre de recherche de l'IUSM Douglas


Domaine : Neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme : Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 2

Concours 2016-2017


The main objectives of this research program are to improve our understanding of the impacts of 1) low birth weight and 2) lack of affectionate care in childhood on brain maturation and on the development of attention abilities. It's important to note that this program is not limited to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder but rather to defining, across the population, the relation between early life factors and development of neural systems underlying the attentional components that are affected in ADHD. Despite the well-known link between early life adversity and increased risk for ADHD, not all children with early adversity show signs of ADHD. It is here suggested that genetic background influences the impact of early adversity on the development of the attentional network that is frequently affected in subjects with ADHD.

This research program will be conducted through the participation of the Montreal subsample (sample size of more than 250 children) of the high-risk Maternal Adversity, Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) cohort established in 2003 to thoroughly investigate the effects of variations in early life conditions on the developing brain.  Subjects will be scanned yearly (for those between the ages of 8 and 14 years) to study how the structure and function of their brains develop.