Jens C. Pruessner, PhD
Director, Aging and Alzheimer Disease Research Theme, Douglas Institute
Director, McGill University Centre for Studies in Aging
Associate Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University
- Office phone:
- (514) 762-7767
- Office fax:
- (514) 888-4050
Areas of expertise
- MR volumetry
- Positron Emission Tomography
- Medial temporal lobe
- Frontal lobe
- Personality traits, especially self-esteem
- Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
Aging is not a uniform process, but shows great intra- and inter-individual variation. Understanding the causes and origins for variations in aging, especially with regard to the effects of acute and chronic stressors on neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration in healthy and at risk populations, is integral to discover factors that determine successful aging. With this task in mind, I joined the Douglas Institute Research Centre in 2000.
I use functional and structural brain imaging techniques - Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) - to investigate what happens in the brain when acute and chronic stress is perceived and processed. In addition, my team and I investigate the effects of interindividual variations of different personality traits on the stress response.
We also try to understand age-related changes in hormonal regulation and their relation to depression and the effects of acute stress on hormonal and central nervous system activation changes. Finally, I will investigate the effects of hormonal replacement therapy on the aging human brain.
My studies to date show that individuals with low self-esteem seem to have a different hormonal regulation, combined with differences in anatomy and function of the brain, when compared to people with high self-esteem.
created: 5 Jul 1999
last modified: 6 July 2010