Gustavo X. Turecki


Contact via McGill University


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Projets de recherche récents

Characterizing the depressed and suicidal brain through a multidisciplinary approach

2016/17-2020/21 • $3,982,404 • PI,Other
In most of the developed world, suicide is among the 10 leading causes of death for individuals of all ages, and the leading cause of death for males under 40 years old. Thus, suicide poses a devastating social and economic burden. Suicide closely associates with major depressive disorder (MDD),...

Cocaine Addiction: Epigenetic Studies in Living and Postmortem Brain

2017/18-2020/21 • $1,014,152 • PI,CO
The overarching goal of this research is to understand how interactions between inherited genes and early drug use can affect vulnerability to addictions. Genes determine how fast or slow or accurately particular proteins are produced, thereby affecting all aspects of our biology. Drug use can...

Major Depressive Disorder and Suicide

2016/17-2020/21 • $950,000 • PI
Suicide is among the ten leading causes of death in Canada and is closely associated with major depression. What molecular and functional changes take place in the brain of individuals who become depressed, and what leads some of these to take their own lives are crucial questions that have long...

DNA methylation changes in human brain by chronic cocaine use

2017/18-2020/21 • $620,860 • PI,CO
Cocaine addiction has a serious impact on Canadian families and the Canadian economy, due to lives lost to overdose, hospital visits, or decreased productivity. Several studies have tried to determine how the 'addicted' brain differs from the non-addicted brain, but most of these studies have...

Improving treatment efficacy: A randomized controlled trial of the combined used of intranasal oxytocin and cognitive behavioral therapy for the treatment of major depressive disorder

2017/18-2020/21 • $571,442 • PI,CO
Major depressive disorder (MD) is recurrent, debilitating, and, to some extent, a chronic disorder, despite the many advances in treatment. Although both drug and psychological treatments are considered to be efficacious in the short-term treatment of MD, at least one third of patients do not...

From Birth to Adulthood: The Risk and Protective Factors Leading to Mental Health Problems (MHPs) in a Representative Population Sample.

2016/17-2020/21 • $475,022 • PI,CO
While physical illnesses account for most of the social and economical burden among adults, Mental Health Problems (MHPs) are the first cause of disability among youths (18-25 years). Youth with MHPs such as substance abuse, antisocial behaviour, and depression are at high risk for school...

Examining the consequences of child abuse on cerebral myelination

2018/19-2020/21 • $463,084 • PI,CO
Child abuse, defined as childhood sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect by a parent or caregiver, causes lasting pain and hardship for millions of Canadians. The aim of this research is to understand the nature of the white matter alterations that have been described in people with a...

Clinical and genetic factors in response to treatment of bipolar disorder

2019/20-2020/21 • $292,012 • PI,CO
Most people with bipolar disorder require ongoing treatment to prevent further recurrences of mania or depression. Several medications have been found effective in this indication, but each works only in a proportion of patients. The treatment in individual patients is commonly chosen by...

Identifying Markers of AntiDepressant response: Advancing Precision Treatment of depression

2018/19-2020/21 • $202,109 • PI,CO
We propose to study major depressive disorder (MDD), a highly prevalent disease that is associated with major socioeconomic burden. Although it is clear that MDD results from dysfunction of the brain, and over the last decades we have obtained important leads about potential brain structures and...

Identifying Effective Mental Health Interventions and Populations in Need: A COVID-19 Living Systematic Review

2020/21 • $199,836 • PI,CO,Other
There will be serious mental health implications from COVID-19 that extend beyond the first outbreak for many people. Addressing mental health needs requires understanding the nature and extent of mental health ramifications, factors associated with vulnerability, and evidence on effectiveness...

Situating Suicide Risk: An inquiry into the production of the lives and afterlives of neurobiological vulnerability

2019/20-2020/21 • $176,392 • PI,CO
With at least 3900 Canadians lost to suicide each year, identifying the factors thought to lead to suicide risk is a top priority of scientific researchers and clinicians. Recently, neuroscience researchers identified biomarkers that they believe reflect suicide risk acquired over the life...

The neuroepigenetic link between childhood abuse and suicide: a single-cell type sequencing approach

2017/18-2020/21 • $166,667 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
It is estimated that approximately 30% of adult mental illness may be due in part to a history of severe childhood abuse. A major question, then, is by what mechanisms does abuse predispose a survivor to psychopathology in adulthood? Our goal is to investigate this question using the field of...

Partially Nested Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network COVID-19 Home-isolation Activities Together (SPIN-CHAT) Program to Reduce Anxiety among Vulnerable Persons with a Pre-existing Medical Condition

2020/21 • $156,353 • PI,CO,Other
People with the autoimmune disease scleroderma are vulnerable in COVID-19 due to frailty, lung involvement, and immunosuppression; they are representative of vulnerable groups in terms of COVID-19 mental health ramifications. No previous randomized controlled trials have tested mental health...

Depression as a gut feeling: The gut microbiome as a mediating factor in the dysregulation of the gut-vagus-brain epigenome in the context of depression.

2018/19-2020/21 • $150,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
We live our lives engaged in a biochemical conversation with trillions of intestinal microbes. It is known that this gut 'microbiota' can modulate the intestines, and that neurons in our intestines can 'talk' to neurons in our brain along the vagus nerve, as part of a larger bidirectional...

Early life-influences on suicidal ideation, suicide attempts and suicide mortality: a life-course perspective to inform prevention

2017/18-2020/21 • $135,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Suicide and suicidal behaviours (suicidal ideation and suicide attempt) are among the leading public health concerns, especially among youths (second cause of death in Canada). Most prevention programs aim to identify and help individuals made vulnerable to suicide by a difficult time in their...

Remodeling of cerebral plasticity by early-life adversity: cellular and molecular mechanisms in the human brain

2020/21 • $120,290 • PI,CO
Child abuse, defined as childhood sexual, physical or emotional abuse or neglect by a parent or caregiver, causes lasting pain and hardship for millions of Canadians. The aim of this research is to understand the nature of lasting changes in the organization of brain circuits in people having...

Transitioning to Adulthood: Risk and Protective Factors for Mental Health Problems (MHPs) between Adolescence and Adulthood in a Representative Population Sample.

2019/20-2020/21 • $115,157 • PI,CO
Mental health problems (MHPs) affect 1 in 5 young people in Canada. Youth with mental disorders such as cannabis abuse and depression are less likely to attain adult life milestones. Our goal is to generate knowledge to improve the prevention of the social, personal and economic burdens of MHPs....

Identification of Factors to Improve Effectiveness and Implementation of a Multi-faceted COVID-19 Mental Health Intervention: Follow-up to the SPIN-CHAT Trial

2020/21 • $89,901 • PI,CO,Other
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly, seen an increasing number of deaths, and taxed economies. Fears due to risk of infection, collapsing healthcare systems, unknown isolation/restriction periods, and that resources will be insufficient have resulted in poor mental health outcomes. Such...

Impact of Early life MetaBolic and psychosocial strEss on susceptibility to mental Disorders; from converging epigenetic signatures to novel targets for therapeutic intervention

2018/19-2020/21 • $54,167 • PI,CO
Each year 38.2% of the EU population suffers from a mental disorder. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and brain during fetal life. Such toxic stress can have...

Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Living Systematic Review of Mental Health Burden, Factors Associated with Mental Health Outcomes, and Intervention Effectiveness in the General Population and Vulnerable Populations

2020/21 • $50,000 • PI,CO,Other
There will be serious mental health implications from COVID-19 that extend beyond the outbreak for many people. Addressing mental health needs requires understanding the nature and extent of mental health ramifications, factors associated with vulnerability, and evidence on effectiveness of...

Biomarkers of ANTidepressant RESponse : early indicators and novel targets

2019/20-2020/21 • $47,648 • PI
Antidepressants (AD) are for now, the best treatment we have for major depression (MDD) a severe mental disorder. AD are one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the western hemisphere, however their trial-and error nature combined with unwanted side-effects, leave a lot to be desired. More...

Genetic and psychosocial predictors of epigenetic age acceleration: clinical significance for stress-related mental disorders

2016/17-2019/20 • $1,246,135 • PI,CO
Stress-related mental health problems are a leading cause of disability in most developed nations, including Canada. Exposure to adversity early in life, including child maltreatment, increases the risk of later stress-related mental health problems. However not all children exposed to early...

Anxio-depressive symptom and treatment adherence trajectories associated with clinical outcomes and quality of life in a community sample of older adults with chronic disorders

2017/18-2019/20 • $199,200 • PI,CO
The older adult population aged 60 years and over will double and by 2051 make up 30% of Canadians, of which up to 50% will be affected by a neurological or mental disorder. The burden of these disorders account for 17% of YLDs in older adults, the leading cause, and close to $60 Billion in...

P2RASP: Pathways to Resilience and Suicide Prevention in the Arctic

2015/16-2018/19 • $675,000 • PI,CO,Other
The World Health Organization estimates that suicide accounts for almost one million deaths per year. Nowhere, however, does suicide have such an impact and social burden as among Indigenous populations. Inuit suicide is associated with transgenerational effects of colonization, rapid culture...

Comprehensive Study of Small Noncoding RNA in Depression

2016/17-2018/19 • $386,399 • PI,CO
We propose to study major depressive disorder (MDD), a highly prevalent disease that is associated with major socio-economic burden. Although it is clear that MDD results from dysfunction of the brain, and over the last decades we have obtained important leads about potential brain structures...

Predicting Antidepressant Treatment Response in Major Depressive Disorder: An Integrated Clinical and Neuroimaging Approach

2012/13-2017/18 • $893,950 • PI,CO
Major Depression is a widespread and debilitating illness. Although a variety of treatments for depression are available, there is currently no way to predict ahead of time which treatment will work best for which individual. Researchers have discovered that there are differences in brain...

Oxidative damage and compromised neuronal integrity in bipolar disorder

2012/13-2017/18 • $752,424 • PI,CO
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a major public health problem associated with significant functional impairment for many patients. The complete pathophysiology of this disorder remains under investigation, limiting the progress in the development of novel therapeutic strategies. There are, however,...

Early life stress interacts with the gut microbiome to modulate depression vulnerability.

2017/18 • $100,000 • PI,CO
We are all perpetually engaged in a lifelong biochemical dialogue with trillions of bacteria who reside in our digestive tract and whose collective genome is 100 times larger than our own. However, despite this ubiquity, we are only beginning to understand how this 'gut microbiome' influences...

Multidimensional Epigenomics Mapping Centre (EMC) at McGill

2011/12-2016/17 • $5,665,000 • PI,CO
Ten years after completion of the Human Genome Project providing us the first full sequence of bases in our genome the research community is now joining forces for its next challenge: epigenome mapping. This global effort is necessary to answer how does the genome deploy hundreds of different...

L'Équipe des IRSC en épidémiologie sociale et psychiatrique et le développement de la zone circonscrite d'épidémiologie du sud-ouest de Montréal: la poursuite de l'étude longitudinale sur la santé mentale et l'étude de ses comorbidités avec la santé physique.

2011/12-2016/17 • $1,744,469 • PI,CO
En 2006, nous avons recu des IRSC une subvention d'equipe pour creer la premiere zone d'etudes epidemiologiques au Canada pour determiner l'etat de sante mentale de la population. La subvention que nous demandons permettra de poursuivre ce programme de recherche qui vise a evaluer la prevalence...

From Birth to Adolescence: The Developmental Trajectories Leading to Mental Health Problems in a Representative Population Sample.

2011/12-2016/17 • $917,000 • PI,CO
While physical illnesses account for most of the social and economical burden among adults, mental health problems are the first cause of disability among youths. The prevalence of mental health problems in children and adolescents is higher than previously thought. Point estimates in the past...

Molecular changes associated with childhood abuse: An MeDIP-Seq study

2011/12-2016/17 • $790,555 • PI,CO
Children in our society are all too often subjected to physical violence, emotional deprivation and inappropriate sexual behaviours. These negative life experiences are among the strongest predictors of psychiatric illness and suicide in adulthood, with strong and lifelong effects. Recent...

Polyamines, depression and suicide

2011/12-2016/17 • $745,913 • PI,CO
Resulting from a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors, neurobiological alterations underlie major depression and suicidal behaviors. In recent years, we have found strong evidence to support the involvement of the polyamine stressresponse system in the neurobiology of suicide....

Role of microRNA in Major Depression and Suicide

2014/15-2016/17 • $406,888 • PI,CO
MicroRNAs are small, noncoding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression. We have previously found that levels of a particular microRNA, miR-1202 is greatly decreased in brain tissue from individuals that died by suicide in the context of depression. The major objective of this proposal is to...

High-throughput sequencing approach to identify bipolar disorder genes

2012/13-2016/17 • $120,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a common mental health problem that affects 1-2% of the population. The most effective treatment is Lithium, with results in 50-70 % of patients, but this drug's mechanism of action is not understood. There is strong evidence to suggest that BD can be inherited, given...

Characterizing the functional role of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in suicide through next-generation sequencing.

2014/15-2016/17 • $105,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. It impacts not only individuals and their families, but also society as a whole. Although it is clear that biological factors play a role in increasing suicide predisposition and in underlying the state of hopelessness associated with...

DNA Methylation in the Nucleus Accumbens and Dorsal Striatum of Dependent Cocaine Users

2015/16-2016/17 • $105,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Drug addictions create a substantial negative health impact on those who are affected by them and often have massive economic and social consequences. Like many other complex mental health issues, there is some evidence that biological factors contribute to individual vulnerability to addiction....

The Role of microRNA in Major Depression and Antidepressant Treatment

2014/15-2016/17 • $82,833 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Major depressive disorder is highly prevalent in the general population, and is associated with excessive mortality and disability. Antidepressants remain the most common treatment, and not surprisingly, they are among the most prescribed medications in North America. While they are clearly...

Molecular biomarkers of antidepressant response

2010/11-2015/16 • $1,096,567 • PI,CO
Antidepressants are commonly used treatments for major depression. While a significant proportion of patients treated with antidepressants respond to treatment, a large proportion (up to 60%, depending on the study) of patients do not respond. The proposed application aims to conduct a...

Structural properties of glutamatergic neurons in major depression and suicide

2010/11-2015/16 • $533,930 • PI,CO
According to the World Health Organization, major depression affects approximately 121 million people worldwide and is ranked as one of the leading causes of disability. Many studies have suggested that the structure of some brain regions, namely those involved in processing emotions, is altered...

Hormonal, genetic, and psychosocial factors in the developing parent-child relationship: A follow up study of parents and their toddlers

2012/13-2015/16 • $468,464 • PI,CO
New information from the fields of psychology, genetics, and neurobiology has given us a better understanding of the developing parent-child relationship. Many factors affect the way in which parents interact with their infants and young children, including their own history of adversity, their...

The neurocognitive basis of suicidal behavior: A neuroimaging study with a model-based approach

2011/12-2015/16 • $263,974 • PI,CO
Suicidal behavior (SB) represents a public health issue in most Western countries including Canada. According to the WHO, one million people die by suicide each year worldwide and the rate of attempted suicide is ten times greater. Moreover, suicide completion appears to be more frequent in men...

Re-considering vulnerability in mental health research ethics

2014/15-2015/16 • $238,376 • PI,CO
Although a widely used term, vulnerability has been ascribed different definitions according to international research ethics policies. In some policies, vulnerability is mentioned largely with respect to justice and in other policies it is underscored by respect for persons. Sometimes, the...

Neurosciences and the Afterlife of Death: Re-imagining Notions of Suicidal Risk

2013/14-2015/16 • $159,046 • PI,CO
Suicide has often been associated with particular subpopulations such as those people who are socially marginalized or, alternatively, who suffer from mental illness. Together, these explanations have created a perception of suicide as linked to both individual negative experiences as well as...

Cognitive inhibition, and its modulation by emotions, in depressed patients at-risk for suicide: a functional MRI study.

2012/13-2015/16 • $135,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Some people are more negatively affected than others when facing difficult and stressful situations. This difference may notably lead some individuals to more easily become depressed, have suicidal thoughts and even attempt or commit suicide. The current research project will examine why people...

Antecedents of persistent antisocial behaviour and psychopathy: A developmental follow-back study of Canadian men using prospectively collected data from age 6 to 30

2011/12-2014/15 • $789,732 • PI,CO
Approximately 5% of males display antisocial and aggressive behaviour that emerges in childhood and remains stable throughout life. They commit more than 50% of all violent crimes. In addition, they assault others, participate in the illegal drug trade, do not work or pay taxes. The first goal...

Epigenetic regulation of the amygdala by childhood maltreatment

2014/15 • $45,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Children in our society are all too often subjected to physical violence, emotional deprivation and inappropriate sexual behaviours. These negative life experiences have strong and lifelong effects. They are among the strongest predictors of psychiatric illness, aggressive and violent...

P2RASP:Pathways to Resilience and Suicide Prevention enhancing community-selected strategies

2014/15 • $7,500 • PI,CO,Other
The World Health Organization estimates that suicide accounts for almost one million deaths per year. Nowhere, however, does suicide have such an impact and social burden as among Indigenous populations.Inuit suicide is associated with transgenerational effects of colonization, rapid culture...

Phenotypic and molecular heterogeneity of bipolar disorder

2010/11-2013/14 • $796,972 • PI
Bipolar disorder is recognized as having a strong familial basis. Identification of genes influencing the risk of illness in families will help better understand the disease processes as well as open new treatment opportunities. Search for these susceptibility genes has been progressing only...

Role of microRNA in Major Depression and Suicide

2010/11-2013/14 • $587,277 • PI,CO
The major objective of this proposal is to identify microRNA differences in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of depressed suicides compared to controls. MicroRNA are small, noncoding RNA molecules that regulate RNA expression.

RASP: Resilience and Suicide Prevention project

2013/14 • $250,000 • PI
The RASP project aims to assess the process and outcomes of three suicide prevention and wellness promotion initiatives in the Arctic. This proposal is a collaboration between Alaska and two Canadian Arctic communities in order to identify and investigate promising interventions in those fields....

Epigenetics of Cocaine Addiction

2013/14 • $17,500 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Drug addictions create a substantial negative health impact on those who are affected by them and often have massive economic and social consequences. Like many other complex mental health issues, there is some evidence that biological factors contribute to individual vulnerability to addiction....

Whole epigenome profiling of the epigenetic marks of maternal depression and its impact on the offspring epigenome.

2010/11-2012/13 • $500,000 • PI,CO
Maternal depression has an impact on the health of a mother's offspring. However the mechanisms responsible for marking maternal adversity in the life history of the offspring are unknown. Although genetic transmission might be involved in a certain fraction of cases, recent data suggest that...

Environmental stressors and epigenetic effects in major depression and suicide

2010/11-2012/13 • $323,566 • PI,CO
Epigenetic factors have been proposed as possible mediators of the communication between enviornment and genome. This project will the methylation patterns of genes in subjects who were abused during childhood and died by suicide, as well as in normal controls.

Social and Clinical Risk Factors for Inuit Suicide in Nunavut: a multicomponent KT strategy

2011/12 • $99,000 • PI,CO
The proposed KT strategy is based in multicomponent interventions (meeting with community leaders, DVD, booklets, website, and radio interviews). The strategy was designed to emphasize the participation of the communities at all stages.The objective is to discuss the results and integrate the...

Translational studies of environmental stressors and epigenetic effects in major depression and suicide

2010/11-2011/12 • $70,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
The relationship between early life adversity, depression and suicide has been well demonstrated. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating this relationship are poorly understood. From rat studies, we have recently gained major insight into some of the genomic processes which modify behaviour...

Équipe des IRSC en épidémiologie sociale et psychiatrique

2010/11 • $245,916 • PI,CO
Le developpement d'une zone d'epidemiologie psychiatrique dans le sud-ouest de Montreal zone permettra d'etudier l'interaction complexe entre les facteurs de risques et les facteurs de protection en sante mentale, le declenchement de la symptomatologie, et sa prise en charge par les communautes...

Polyamines, depression and suicide: Brain expression screening, functional assays and genetic variation studies

2010/11 • $138,806 • PI,CO
The major objective of this research project is to identify biological mechanisms that play a role in the predisposition to suicide. Our goal in this proposal is to follow up on previous results from our group that indicate a possible role for polyamines, which are small molecules which role in...

Monoamines, depression and suicidal behavior: Investigation of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions

2010/11 • $101,853 • PI,CO
The World Health Organization reports that suicide accounts for almost 2% of the world¿s deaths and is among the leading causes of unnecessary and premature death. Suicide attempts, which will be the focus of this study, are 10-14 times more frequent than completions. Up to 5% of individuals...

From Birth to Adolescence: The Developmental Trajectories Leading to Mental Health Problems in a Representative Population Sample.

2010/11 • $100,000 • PI,CO
While physical illnesses account for most of the social and economical burden among adults, mental health problems are the first cause of disabilities among youths. The prevalence of mental health problems in children and adolescents is even higher than previously thought, with rates as high as...

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