Saguenay Youth Study

The Saguenay Youth Study (SYS) is carried out in a population with a known founder effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder_effect), namely in French Canadians living in the Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada (http://www.genizon.com/english/discovery/founder.html).

The SYS is a large-scale (n=1,000) study of gene-environment interactions influencing brain & behaviour and cardiovascular & metabolic health in adolescence. Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking represents the main environmental factor under investigation. DNA is acquired in both biological parents and in adolescent siblings.

State-of-the-art tools are used to measure a number of quantitative phenotypes of interest, including structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, abdominal fat and the kidneys, tests of cognitive function (6 hours), and non-invasive and comprehensive assessment of cardiovascular function and obesity (3 hours). Questionnaire-derived measures include life habits, such as diet, physical activity, sleep, sexuality, extra-curricular activities; drug, alcohol use and delinquency (adolescents and their parents); psychiatric symptoms with the DISC predictive scales; personality with the NEO-PI; home and school environment; and academic and vocational attitudes.

The SYS is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (http://www.innovation.ca/), and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec (http://www.heartandstroke.qc.ca/).