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Population Neuroscience of the Adolescent Brain

14 April 2017
San Francesco - Via della Quarquonia 1 (Classroom 1 )
Population neuroscience endeavors to identify environmental and genetic factors that shape the function and structure of the human brain; it uses the tools and knowledge of genetics (and the "omics" sciences), epidemiology, and neuroscience (1). By understanding the processes driving variations in brain function and structure across individuals, we will also be able to predict an individual's risk of (or resilience against) developing a brain disorder. In the long term, the hope is that population neuroscience will lay the foundation for personalized preventive medicine and, in turn, reduce the burden associated with complex, chronic disorders of brain and body. In this talk, I will introduce the basic concepts of population neuroscience and illustrate this approach using data collected in the Saguenay Youth Study (2,3), the IMAGEN Study (4) and ALSPAC (5). I will talk about our recent work on gene-expression profiles of sex and stress hormones (6), the relationship between income inequality and brain maturation, and polygenic risk score for schizophrenia, cannabis use and brain maturation. (7) 1. Paus, T. Population Neuroscience, (Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg, 2013). 2. Pausova, Z. et al. Genes, maternal smoking, and the offspring brain and body during adolescence: Design of the Saguenay youth study. Human Brain Mapping 28, 502-518 (2007). 3. Paus, T. et al. Saguenay Youth Study: A multi-generational approach to studying virtual trajectories of the brain and cardio-metabolic health. Dev Cogn Neurosci (2014). 4. Schumann, G. et al. The IMAGEN study: reinforcement-related behaviour in normal brain function and psychopathology. Mol Psychiatry 15, 1128-39 (2010). 5. Boyd, A. et al. Cohort Profile: the 'children of the 90s'--the index offspring of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Int J Epidemiol 42, 111-27 (2013). 6. Wong A, F.L., Leonard G, Perron M, Pike GB, Richer L, Veillette S, Pausova Z, Paus T. Inter-regional variations in gene expression and age-related cortical thinning in the adolescent brain. Cerebral Cortex in press(2017). 7. French, L. et al. Early Cannabis Use, Polygenic Risk Score for Schizophrenia and Brain Maturation in Adolescence. JAMA Psychiatry (2015).
Paus, Tomáš