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CAN-ACN 2023 Public Lectures

2023-05-27 @ 14:00 - 16:00 EDT

Please join us on Saturday, May 27, 2023, from 14:00 to 16:00, for an exciting series of three public lectures on Diet, Obesity & the Brain by leading researchers in the field, presented by the Canadian Association for Neuroscience.

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) is the largest association of neuroscientists in Canada. Its members dedicated to advancing brain research. CAN is composed of over one thousand researchers, who work at academic institutions across the country. Their goal of ensuring neuroscience remains one of the greatest research and innovation strengths of Canada.

The 16th Canadian Neuroscience Meeting is being held in Montreal on May 28-31, 2023.

To kick off this annual event, CAN is organizing a Public lecture event, featuring Dr. Patricia Pelufo Silveira.


Auditorium – Grande Bibliothèque, 475 Boul. de Maisonneuve E, Montréal, QC H2L 5C4


Hosted by Natasha Rajah, PhD & Alain Dagher, MD

14:00 Patricia Pelufo-Silveira, MD, MSc, PhD 

Early environment, food preferences and life-long health (Presentation in English)

Presentation Summary: The quality of the environment during early life (fetal development and childhood) influences the establishment of eating behaviors and food preferences. This relationship goes beyond the access to specific foods, cultural and learning aspects. In fact, stressful and non-optimal conditions during early life can permanently affect the function of brain structures and systems that influence eating behavior and have an impact on the risk for obesity and metabolic diseases during the life-course.

14:30 Stephanie Fulton, PhD

Dietary and metabolic threats to anxiety and depression prevalence (Presentation in English)

Presentation Summary: The centrality of mental health to overall wellbeing has never been more apparent. Depression and anxiety disorders are prevalent and disabling mental health conditions and their incidence is compounded by obesity. The interchange between metabolic and mood dysfunction can perpetuate a cycle of despair, overeating and physical inactivity that enhances obesity severity and numerous associated health risks.  Mounting evidence reveals an important influence of internal, biological stressors resulting from alterations in energy metabolism on motivation and mood states. Several findings reveal that some of the psychological consequences of obesity stem from poor diet and associated immune responses and highlight a role for neuroinflammation and neuroplastic adaptations in underlying brain circuits. Dr. Fulton will discuss findings regarding the contribution of dietary, metabolic and neurobiological effectors to depression and anxiety development and progression.

15:00 Alain Dagher, MD 

Obésité et cerveau (Presentation in French)

Presentation Summary: To regulate body weight, our body has a system called homeostasis. Homeostasis helps us know when to start and stop eating food, and prevents starvation by making us hungry when we lose weight. However, there is also evidence that decision-making skills play a role in controlling our eating habits. Advertising and highly processed foods are linked to the increase in obesity over the past 50 years. These factors overwhelm our body’s homeostatic defences and cause us to make poor health choices. The propensity to overeat in the response to the abundance of cheap food is heritable (genetic), and expressed in the brain.On the other hand, being overweight can harm the brain and increase the likelihood of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. I will show evidence that treating obesity in adults could undo the damage done to the brain and decrease the risk of developing dementia and cerebrovascular disease later on.

15:30 Q&A with invited speakers


For more information please follow the link.




14:00 - 16:00 EDT
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