What if we could reduce rates of a wide range of devastating mental illnesses through early detection? Thanks to a significant gift of $2.9M from the Irving Ludmer Family Foundation to The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University (The Neuro), hope is on the horizon through the expansion of a major collaboration to understand why some children are vulnerable to conditions like autism, attention deficit disorder and social anxiety, and what can be done to prevent these disorders before they take hold. This collaboration will also explore brain disorders in the aging population, such as dementia, in an unprecedented investigation of mental health across the lifespan.
From the lab of CIFAR Fellow Michael Meaney (McGill University): Scientists have provided evidence that socioeconomic status affects family function and the development and function of brain regions that are critical for attention, learning and memory. Meaney's lab looks into how parenting produces lasting effects on cognitive and emotional development. His lab examined development in rats and found parental influences on the chemical, or 'epigenetic', signals that control the activity in the brain of genes that influence the connections between brain cells as well as learning and memory.