Alain Brunet PhD
6875 Boulevard LaSalle
Researcher, Douglas Research Centre
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McGill University
Associate Editor, Journal of Traumatic Stress
Impact of traumatic stress on mental health
Dr. Brunet studies the impact of traumatic stress on mental health. His main focus has been on characterizing the risk factors and developing effective treatments for Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He is also interested in the epidemiology, the neurobiology of PTSD, as well as in the uses of Internet for research/intervention purposes.
In 2001, Alain Brunet developed the first instrument designed to assess the recalled amount of distress experienced at the time of a traumatic event. This measure has been used by dozens of teams across the world and has been translated into twelve languages.
A major interest in Dr. Brunet’s research stems from a breakthrough that he and colleagues from McGill and Harvard University made when they used the common blood pressure drug, propranolol, to treat PTSD: when individuals recall their traumatic event under propranolol, the emotional strenght of the memory is subsequently and durably reduced, thereby leading to a PTSD symptom reduction.
-Katzman, M.A., et al. (2014). Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the management of anxiety, posttraumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders. BMC Psychiatry, 14 Suppl., 1:S1doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-14-S1-S1.
-Labonté, B., Azoulay, N., Yerko, V., Turecki, G., & Brunet, A. (2014). Epigenetic modulation of glucocorticoid receptors in posttraumatic stress disorder. Translational Psychiatry, 4, 1-7. doi:10.1038/tp.2014.3.
-Lonergan MH, Olivera-Figueroa LA, Pitman RK, & Brunet A. (2013). Propranolol's effects on the consolidation and reconsolidation of long-term emotional memory in healthy participants: a meta-analysis. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 38(4) PubMed ID: 23182304
-Bui E, Rodgers RF, Herbert C, Franko DL, Simon NM, Birmes P, Brunet A. (2012). The impact of internet coverage of the March 2011 Japan earthquake on sleep and posttraumatic stress symptoms: an international perspective. The American journal of psychiatry, 169(2) PubMed ID: 22318796
-LaGarde, G., Doyon, J., & BRUNET, A. (2010). Memory and executive dysfunctions associated with acute Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Psychiatry Research, 177, 144-149.
-FRQ-S Investigator award (2002-2012)
-Finalist: 10 best discoveries of the year - Québéc Sciences (2008)
-Fondation de la Recherche Médicale, France: Young Investigator award (2006-8)
-Personnality of the week - La Presse (2006)
-Maclean's top 39 Canadians that made the world a better place to live (2006)
-Heinz-Lehmann investigator award (2003)
Daniel Saumier, Ph.D. (psychologist)
Christophe Herbert, M.A. (psychologue)
Jacques Tremblay, M.D.
Dr. Brunet grateful to the students and volunteers who help run this lab.
Psychometric Validation of the English and French Versions of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). PLoS ONE. 2016;11(10):e0161645.
Place and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J Trauma Stress. 2016;29(4):293-300.
Effects of Propranolol, a β-noradrenergic Antagonist, on Memory Consolidation and Reconsolidation in Mice. Front Behav Neurosci. 2016;10:49.
Assessing trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder: Single, open-ended question versus list-based inventory. Psychol Assess. 2016;28(8):1001-8.
Reactivating addiction-related memories under propranolol to reduce craving: A pilot randomized controlled trial. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2016;50:245-9.
The effects of maternal stress and illness during pregnancy on infant temperament: Project Ice Storm. Pediatr Res. 2016;79(1-1):107-13.
Trauma Exposure and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the Canadian Military. Can J Psychiatry. 2015;60(11):488-96.
Peritraumatic Distress Mediates the Effect of Severity of Disaster Exposure on Perinatal Depression: The Iowa Flood Study. J Trauma Stress. 2015;28(6):515-22.
Emotional face processing in post-traumatic stress disorder after reconsolidation impairment using propranolol: A pilot fMRI study. J Anxiety Disord. 2015;36:127-33.
QF2011: a protocol to study the effects of the Queensland flood on pregnant women, their pregnancies, and their children's early development. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2015;15:109.
Prenatal stress due to a natural disaster predicts adiposity in childhood: the Iowa Flood Study. J Obes. 2015;2015:570541.
Prenatal maternal stress predicts stress reactivity at 2½ years of age: the Iowa Flood Study. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2015;56:62-78.
Domains of quality of life and social support across the trauma spectrum. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2015;50(8):1243-8.
Suicide risk among active and retired Canadian soldiers: the role of posttraumatic stress disorder. Can J Psychiatry. 2014;59(9):457-9.
Canadian clinical practice guidelines for the management of anxiety, posttraumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive disorders. BMC Psychiatry. 2014;14 Suppl 1:S1.
Trauma reactivation plus propranolol is associated with durably low physiological responding during subsequent script-driven traumatic imagery. Can J Psychiatry. 2014;59(4):228-32.
Prenatal maternal stress predicts autism traits in 6½ year-old children: Project Ice Storm. Psychiatry Res. 2014;219(2):353-60.
Prenatal maternal stress predicts childhood asthma in girls: project ice storm. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:201717.
Prenatal maternal stress affects motor function in 5½-year-old children: project ice storm. Dev Psychobiol. 2014;56(1):117-25.