Leader: Lena Palaniyappan, MD, PhD
The YMHEI group consists of researchers working on mental health problems of youth including not only diagnosed conditions (psychotic disorders, mood and anxiety disorders, eating disorders, ADHD and other externalizing disorders, autism, and substance use disorders), but also high-risk conditions with a specific emphasis on prevention and early intervention.
This group takes a population-based approach aimed at identifying/researching the whole spectrum of risk and resilience factors leading to mental disorders, with the goal of translating findings into preventive and therapeutic interventions. Our motto is ‘improving care through research’ as already demonstrated through several well-established clinical programs (e.g. PEPP- Montreal, eating disorders, ADHD) and major clinical research projects (ACCESS Open Minds). We aim to include patients and their families in the design, implementation, and scaling-up research. We prioritize an integrated approach of identification of biomarkers for risk or disease states, outcomes, or response to treatments based on sophisticated imaging, physiological, and molecular techniques.
The objectives of our program are:
- Identifying early risk /resilience factors, many of them have already been identified and are being studied by members of our group
- Study and understand the mechanisms by which these factors lead to symptoms and dysfunction
- Translate this knowledge into innovative preventive and therapeutic approaches.