Elisabeth Perreau-Linck

McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

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Publications (4)9.78 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Adults exhibiting severe impulsive and aggressive behaviors have multiple indices of low serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission. It remains unclear though whether low 5-HT mediates the behavior or instead reflects a pre-existing vulnerability trait. In the present study, positron emission tomography with the tracer alpha-[(11)C]methyl-L-tryptophan ((11)C-AMT) was used to compare 5-HT synthesis capacity in two groups of adult males from a 21-year longitudinal study (mean age +/- SD: 27.1+/-0.7): individuals with a history of childhood-limited high physical aggression (C-LHPA; N = 8) and individuals with normal (low) patterns of physical aggression (LPA; N = 18). The C-LHPA males had significantly lower trapping of (11)C-AMT bilaterally in the orbitofrontal cortex and self-reported more impulsiveness. Despite this, in adulthood there were no group differences in plasma tryptophan levels, genotyping, aggression, emotional intelligence, working memory, computerized measures of impulsivity, psychosocial functioning/adjustment, and personal and family history of mood and substance abuse disorders. These results force a re-examination of the low 5-HT hypothesis as central in the biology of violence. They suggest that low 5-HT does not mediate current behavior and should be considered a vulnerability factor for impulsive-aggressive behavior that may or may not be expressed depending on other biological factors, experience, and environmental support during development.
    PLoS ONE 06/2010; 5(6):e11255. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the specific contribution of serotonin (5-HT) to the neurobiology of emotion and mood in healthy people. In an exploratory study, we sought to investigate the effect of rapid and sustained changes of emotional state on the trapping of 11C-labelled alpha-methyl-L-tryptophan (11C-alphaMtrp) used as a proxy of 5-HT synthesis, using positron emission tomography (PET). In a within-subject repeated-measure design, participants recalled autobiographical memories to self-induce sadness, happiness and a neutral emotional state during scanning to measure brain trapping of 11C-alphaMtrp. Three separate scan acquisitions, counterbalanced for order across subjects, took place at the McConnell Brain Imaging Center, Montréal. Whole brain analysis revealed positive and negative correlations between experienced levels of emotions and 11C-alphaMtrp trapping in the right anterior cingulate cortex. These findings point to a mechanism whereby state-related changes in a proxy of 5-HT synthesis underscore aspects of the self-regulation of normal mood.
    Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 12/2007; 32(6):430-4. · 6.24 Impact Factor
  • Frontiers in Neuroscience. 01/1970;
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    Elisabeth Perreau-Linck
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    ABSTRACT: Le neurofeedback (NF) suscite actuellement un vif intérêt dans la prise en charge du trouble déficitaire de l’attention avec hyperactivité (TDAH) chez l’enfant. Proposée comme méthode alternative à la médication par de nombreux cliniciens, notamment aux États-Unis, le NF est une intervention non-invasive de type électrophysiologique qui repose sur l’apprentissage par conditionnement opérant de l’autorégulation d’ondes cérébrales déviantes. Les études empiriques qui étayent cette pratique font toutefois l’objet de virulentes critiques de la part de spécialistes dans le domaine du TDAH en raison de résultats systématiquement positifs mais non spécifiques, auxquels s’ajoutent de nombreuses lacunes méthodologiques. Les travaux de cette thèse visent à appliquer une méthodologie stricte de type essai clinique contrôlé avec assignation aléatoire afin d’isoler les effets particuliers du NF, en appliquant un protocole d’entraînement propre au déficit primaire sous-tendant le TDAH, soit l’inhibition motrice, dans le but d’évaluer la spécificité de cette intervention. Dans un premier temps, les connaissances relatives à la nosologie du TDAH, à ses principaux traitements, au NF et aux capacités d’inhibition chez l’enfant ayant un TDAH sont présentées (Chapitre 1). Ensuite, les études réalisées dans le cadre de cette thèse sont exposées. Dans l’étude initiale, la spécificité du NF est évaluée sur les capacités d’inhibition grâce à des mesures subjectives, soit des questionnaires de comportements complétés par les parents, ainsi que des mesures objectives, à savoir des tâches neuropsychologiques (Chapitre 2). Afin de préciser davantage les conséquences d’un entraînement à l’autorégulation d’ondes cérébrales, l’étude subséquente s’est intéressée à l’impact neurophysiologiques de l’amélioration des capacités d’inhibition, par le biais d’une étude en potentiels évoqués employant une tâche de performance continue de type Stop-signal (Chapitre 3). Les principaux résultats reflètent un recrutement sous optimal, avec une puissance statistique insuffisante pour réaliser des statistiques quantitatives de groupe. Néanmoins, l’appréciation des données selon une approche d’étude de cas multiples permet de mettre en évidence la présence d’une réponse placebo sur les capacités d’inhibition suite à un entraînement en NF. Finalement, les implications de la taille de l’échantillon, ainsi que les limites et les critiques de ces études sont discutées au Chapitre 4. In recent years, there has been a lively interest in the use of neurofeedback (NF) as an alternative treatment to pharmacotherapy in pediatric Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). NF is defined as an operant conditioning procedure whereby an individual learns to self-regulate electrical brain activity. Yet, empirical studies supporting its practice are harshly criticized in the field of ADHD research due to systematic unspecific positive results associated to numerous methodological flaws. Studies presented in this dissertation aim at applying a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial to the investigation of NF specific effects. In order to further establish treatment specificity, we trained the participants using a NF protocol characteristic to motor-inhibition functioning since it has repeatedly been described as the core deficit in ADHD. The fist part of this thesis comprises a brief review of knowledge concerning ADHD, principal treatments offered for this disorder, NF research in pediatric ADHD and inhibition abilities in these children (Chapter 1). Following are the two studies conducted as part of this dissertation. In the initial study, effects of NF training are investigated on inhibition capacities by means of behavior rating scales and neuropsychological tests (Chapter 2). With the aim of further defining the consequence of training to self-regulate ones brain activity, the subsequent study looks at the neurophysiologic impact of improving inhibition capacities with an event-related potential study using a Stop-signal continuous performance task (Chapter 3). The principal results reveal a non optimal recruitment, with insufficient statistical power, thus precluding quantitative group statistics. Nevertheless, appreciating the data from a multiple case study perspective enables to suggest that a placebo response could be at play following NF training, such as measured by improvements on inhibition capacities. Finally, the implications of such a small sample size, limits and critics of these studies are discussed in Chapter 4.