Origine développementale des perturbations endocriniennes et psychiatriques chez l'enfant


Tuong-Vi Nguyen

Centre universitaire de santé McGill [CUSM]


Domaine :  neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme chercheurs-boursiers-cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018

Endocrine disruption during puberty (i.e. abnormalities in the timing or tempo [i.e. speed of transition] of the pubertal maturation process) increases up to 2-11 times the risk of mood and anxiety disorders as well as substance use and delinquency. Several theories exist to explain this phenomenon, including psychosocial (disconnect with peers), biological (hormonal effects) and genetic (maternal or paternal effects) hypotheses. Yet, what have been missing from studies to date are consistent biological and genetic mechanisms linking endocrine and psychiatric disturbances. There is evidence that both endocrine disruption and brain structure at the onset of puberty are highly heritable, and alterations in paternally inherited genetic sequences affect both endocrine and brain function simultaneously. This suggests that early brain and endocrine disorders may share a common developmental origin, potentially transmissible from the father to the child.

The current research program aims to:
•    Define the developmental trajectories in brain structure associated with pubertal maturation;
•    Investigate the impact of brain structure on the relationship between endocrine and psychiatric disturbances;
•    Characterize the paternal contribution to endocrine and psychiatric disturbances in the child.

To accomplish these objectives, we will be using two unique, large samples, the NIHPD and 3D cohorts: (1) NIHPD: 433 typically developing children 1-22 years old who underwent extensive hormonal and behavioral testing, along with repeated MRI brain imaging; (2) 3D: 635 father-mother-child trios with complete data and biological samples, followed from the prenatal period up until 6 years postpartum.

Taken together, anticipated results from this proposal will have significant public health relevance for child health in Quebec and can be used to counsel families regarding the comorbidity between early brain and endocrine diseases and the paternal contribution to child development, with the long-term goal of reducing the incidence and prevalence of endocrine and psychiatric disorders in youth.