Quebec, Canada - Saguenay Youth Study

The Saguenay Youth Study (SYS) is carried out in a population with a known founder effect, namely French Canadians living in the Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada.

The SYS is a large-scale (1,000 participants) study of gene-environment interactions influencing brain & behaviour as well as 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: (a) structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, abdominal fat and the kidneys; (b) tests of cognitive function; and (c) non-invasive and comprehensive assessments of cardiovascular function and obesity. Questionnaires are used to assess: (a) life habits such as diet, physical activity, sleep, sexuality, and extra-curricular activities; (b) drug, alcohol use and delinquency (of both adolescents and their parents); (c) psychiatric symptoms; (d) personality factors; (e) home and school environments; and (f) academic and vocational attitudes.

The SYS, which is co-directed by Drs. Paus and Pausova, is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec.

For more information, please visit the official website of the Saguenay Youth Study at:

Learning to prevent and thrive!