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Dr. Linda Booij , PhD

Associate Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Eating Disorders, Psychology
FRQS Chercheur Boursier Senior
Co-Director, Centre for Clinical Research in Health (CCRH)

Office: L-SP 253-03 
Richard J. Renaud Science Complex,
7141 Sherbrooke W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 5789
Email: linda.booij@concordia.ca
Website(s): CCRH

Research Interests

Numerous studies have shown that adverse exposures in utero or in the first years of life (e.g., malnutrition, emotional or physical abuse, harsh parenting) can lead to a variety of mental health difficulties later on. These difficulties include (but are not limited to) depression and eating disorders. 
Early adverse exposures in utero or in the first years of life can affect the brain in many different ways; however, the neurotransmitter serotonin is of particular interest. That is because serotonin is (i) widely implicated in a variety of psychopathologies and (ii) important for brain development, especially during infancy or childhood  (i.e., serotonin, in fact, helps to actually “build up the brain”). The overarching theme of our research program is that early adversity could disrupt the stability of certain brain chemicals (e.g., serotonin). This in turn influences the early development of brain regions involved in emotion regulation, and could predispose the individual to psychological problems later in life, particularly when exposed to subsequent stressful events. The studies we are conducting are done in clinical and non-clinical populations and use neuro-imaging (fMRI/PET), epigenetics (DNA methylation, HDACs) and/or cognitive-behavioural assessments, and is funded by various sources, including CIHR, NSERC, NARSAD and QBIN. 

Topics of ongoing research projects include:
- Brain development and eating disorders
DNA methylation and eating disorders
- Social-cognition and emotional-cognitive processing in eating disorders
- Impact of childhood trauma on histone deacetylases in adulthood.
- In utero environment / adversity and brain development in children and associated epigenetic mechanisms
- Gene-environment studies on brain and mental health, using twin designs

Education

PhD (Leiden University, the Netherlands)


Teaching activities

Mood, Anxiety and Personality Disorders (psyc440)


Publications

Selected Recent Publications

Booij, L. & Steiger, H. (2020). Applying epigenetic science to the understanding of eating disorders: A promising paradigm for research and practice. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, in press.

Steiger, H.**, & Booij, L.** (2020). Eating disorders,heredity and environmental activation: Getting epigenetic concepts into practice. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 9(5):1332. doi:10.3390/jcm9051332. **SHARED first authorship

Burdo, J., Booij, L., Kahan, E., Thaler, L., Israel, M., Agellon, L.B., Nitschmann, E., Wykes, L., & Steiger, H. (2020). Plasma levels of one-carbon metabolism pathway nutrients in women with Anorexia Nervosa. International Journal of Eating Disorders, published. doi:10.1002/eat.23292

Chiarella, J., Schumann, L., Pomares, F.B., Frodl, T., Tozzi, L., Nemoda, Z., Yu, P., Szyf, M., Khalid-Khan, S., & Booij, L. (2020). DNA methylation differences in stress-related genes, frontolimbic functional connectivity and gray matter volume in depressed and healthy adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders, accepted. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.03.062

Scardera, S., Sacco, S., DiSante, J., & Booij, L. (2020). Body image-related cognitive fusion: Role of disordered eating, self-compassion and sad mood. Eating and Weight Disorders, Feb 21. doi:10.1007/s40519-020-00868-w. [Epub ahead of print]

Thaler, L., Brassard, S., Booij, L., Kahan, E., McGregor, K., Labbe, A., Israel, M., & Steiger, H. (2020). Methylation of the OXTR gene in women with Anorexia Nervosa: Relationship to social behavior. European Eating Disorders Review, 28:79–86. doi:10.1002/erv.2703

Brietzke, E., Booij, L., Wieck, A., Soares, C. N., Roberts, N., & Khalid-Khan, S. (2020). A discussion of potential clinical markers predicting anti-inflammatory treatment response in individuals with major depression. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 83:3–4. doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2019.08.197

Lissemore, J.I., Booij, L., Leyton, M., Gravel, P., Sookman, D., Nordahl, T.E., & Benkelfat, C. (2020). Neuroimaging of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Insights to serotonergic mechanisms. In: Dierckx, R.A.J.O., Otte, A., De Vries, E.F.J., Van Waarde, A., Den Boer, J.A. (eds.). PET and SPECT in Psychiatry. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg: 2nd edition. In press.

Manchia, M., Booij, L., Wong, J., Zepf, F., & Comai, S. (in press). Neurobiology of violence. In: B. Carpiniello, C. Mencacci & A. Vita (Eds.), Violence and mental disorders. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Arias, J., Williams, C., Raghvani, R., Aghajani, M., Baez, S., Belzung, C., Booij, L., Busatto, G., Chiarella, J., Fu, C., Ibanez, A., Liddell, B., Lowe, L., Penninx, B., Rosa, P., & Kemp, A. (2020). The neuroscience of sadness: A multidisciplinary synthesis and collaborative review for the human affectome project. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 111:199–228. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.01.006

Gouin, J.P., Wrosch, C., McGrath, J., & Booij, L. (2020). Interpersonal capitalization moderates the associations of chronic caregiving stress and depression with inflammation. Psychoneuroendocrinology,112. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2019.104509

Da Estrela, C., McGrath, J., Booij, L., & Gouin, J-P. (2020). Heart rate variability, sleep quality, and depression in the context of chronic stress. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. In press.

Gouin, J., Paquin, C., Wrosch,C., McGrath, J., Arbour, N., Booij, L. (2020). Marital quality and inflammation: the moderating role of early life adversity. Health Psychology, 39:58–67. doi:10.1037/hea0000790

Booij, L. (2019). Genetic and epigenetic regulation of CRTC1 in human eating behaviour and fat distribution: Methodological and clinical insights and considerations. EBioMedicine, Epub Jun 18; 45:15–16. doi:10.1016/j.ebiom.2019.06.019

Sild, M. & Booij, L. (2019). Histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) – a new player in anorexia nervosa? Molecular Psychiatry, 24:1425–1434. doi:10.1038/s41380-019-0366-8.

Kirkpatrick, R., Booij, L., Vance, A., Marshall, B., Kanellos-Sutton, M., Marchand, P., & Khalid-Khan,S. (2019). Eating disorders and substance use in adolescents: How substance users differ from non-substance users in an outpatient eating disorders treatment clinic. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 52:175–182. doi:10.1002/eat.23017.

Steiger, H.**, Booij,L.**, Kahan, E., McGregor, K., Thaler, L., Labbe, A., Joober, R., Israël, M., Szyf, M., Agellon, L., Fletcher, E., Gauvin, L., St-Hilaire, A., & Rossi, E. (2019). A longitudinal, epigenomewide study of DNA methylation in Anorexia Nervosa: Results in actively ill, partially weight restored, long-term remitted, and non-eating-disordered women. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 44(2):1–9. **SHARED first authorship

Tuvblad, C., Sild, M., Frogner, C., & Booij, L. (2019). Behavioral genetics of aggression and Intermittent Explosive Disorder. In Coccaro, E. (Editor). Intermittent Explosive Disorder. In press.

Dos Santos, R.R.G., Forte, G.C., Mundstock, E., Amaral, M.A., Goecks, S., da Silveira, C.G., Amantéa, F.C., Variani, J.F., Booij, L., & Mattiello, R. (2019). Body composition parameters can better predict body image dissatisfaction than body mass index in Brazilian children and adolescents. Eating and Weight Disorders, Jul 23. doi:10.1007/s40519-019-00750-4. [Epub ahead of print]

McIver, T., Bosma, R., Goegan, S., Sandre, A., Klassen, J., Chiarella, J., Booij, L.***, & Craig, W. (2019). Functional connectivity across social inclusion and exclusion is related to peer victimization and depressive symptoms in young adults. Journal of Affective Disorders. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2019.04.08538.  ***Corresponding author.

Van den Heuvel, M., Scholtens, M., Van der Burgh, H., Agosta, F., Alloa, C., Avancini, T., Baron-Cohen, S., Basaia, S., Beyer, F., Booij, L., ....,......, Zhang, R., & De Lange, S. (2019). 10Kin1 day: A bottom-up neuroimaging initiative. Frontiers in Neurology, 10:425. doi:10.3389/fneur.2019.00425

Nguyen, T-V., Jones, S.L., Gower, T., Albaugh, M.D., Botteron, K.N., Hudziak, J.J., Fonov, V.S., Campbell, B.C., Booij, L., Herba, C.M., Monnier, P., Ducharme, S., Waber, D., & McCracken, J.T. (2019). Age-specific associations between oestradiol, cortico-amygdalar structural covariance, and verbal and spatial skills. J Neuroendocrinology, Epub Mar 13; 31. doi: 10.1111/jne.12698

Farooqi, N.A.I, Scotti, M., Yu, A., Lew, J., Monnier, P., Botteron, K., Campbell, B.C., Booij, L., Herba, C., Seguin, J.R., Castellanos-Ryan, N., McCracken, & J.T., & Nguyen, T-V. (2019). Sex-specific contribution of DHEA-Cortisol ratio to prefrontal-hippocampal structural development, cognitive abilities and personality traits. Journal of Endocrinology, 31(2) e12682. doi: 10.1111/jne.12682

Ismaylova, E., Lévesque, M.L., Pomares, F.B., Szyf, M., Nemoda, Z., Fahim, C., Vitaro, F., Brendgen, M., Dionne, G., Boivin, M., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2018). Serotonin transporter promoter methylation in peripheral cells and neural responses to negative stimuli: A study of adolescent monozygotic twins. Translational Psychiatry, 8:147. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0195-6

Di Sante, J., Ismaylova, E. Nemoda, Z., Gouin, J-P, Yu, W-J., Caldwell, W., Vitaro, F., Szyf, M., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2018). Peripheral DNA methylation of HPA axis-related genes in humans: cross-tissue convergence, two-year stability and behavioural and neural correlates. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 97:196–205. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2018.07.019

Calancie, O., Khalid-Khan,S., Booij, L., Munoz, D. (2018). EMDR as treatment for PTSD:current neurobiological theories and a new hypothesis, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1426:127–145. doi:10.1111/nyas.13882.

Farrell,C., Doolin, K., O’ Leary,N., Jairaj, C., Roddy, D., Tozzi, L., Morris, D., Harkin, A., Frodl, T., Nemoda, Z., Szyf, M., Booij, L., & O’Keane, V. (2018). DNA methylation differences at the glucocorticoid receptor gene in depression are related to functional alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal axis activity and to early life emotional abuse. Psychiatry Research, 265:341–348. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2018.04.064.

Ottenhof, K.W, Sild, M., Levesque, M., Ruhe, E., & Booij, L. (2018). TPH2 polymorphisms across the spectrum of psychiatric morbidity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of candidate gene studies. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 92:29–42. doi:0.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.05.018.

Ismaylova, E., Di Sante, J., Gouin, J-P, Pomares, F.B., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2018).  Associations between daily mood states with brain gray matter volume, resting-state functional connectivity and task-based activity in healthy adults. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12:168. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00168. 

Tozzi, L., Farrell, C., Booij,L., Doolin, K., Nemoda, Z., Szyf, M.,Pomares, F.B., Chiarella, J., O’Keane,V., & Frodl, T. (2018). Epigenetic changes of FKBP5 as a link connecting genetic and environmental risk factors with structural and functional brain changes in major depression. Neuropsychopharmacology, 43(5),1138–1145. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.290

McIver, T., Bosma, R., Sandre, A., Goegan, S., Klassen, J., Chiarella, J., Booij, L., & Craig, W. (2018). Peer Victimization is associated with altered neural response to social exclusion. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 64:135–161. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2018.05.018.

Sarria, E., Mundstock, E., Mocelin, H.T., BuenoFischer, G., Rangel Torres, R., Leal, L., Rodrigues de Freitas Arend, M.H., Stein, R., Booij, L., & Mattiello,R. (2018). Health-related quality of life in post-infectious bronchiolitis obliterans: Agreement between children and their proxy. Journal de Pediatria, 94: 374–379. doi:10.1016/j.jped.2017.07.021

Nuñez, N., Comai, S., Dumitrescu, E., Ghabrash, M., Tabaka, J., Saint-Laurent, M., Vida, S., Kolivakis, T., Fielding, A., Low, N., Cervantes, P., Booij, L., & Gobbi, G. (2018). Psychopathological and sociodemographic features in treatment-resistant unipolar depression cersus Bipolar I And II depression: A comparative study. BMC Psychiatry, 18, 68. doi:10.1186/s12888-018-1641-y

Tikonova, S., Booij, L., D’Souza, V., Crosara, K.T.B., Siqueira, W.L., & Emami, E. (2018). Investigating the association between stress, saliva and dental caries: A scoping review. BMC Oral Health, 18:41. doi:10.1186/s12903-018-0500-z

Sudbrack, S., Barbosa, F., Booij, L., Estorgato, G., Dutra, M., Assunção, F., Mattiello, R., & Nunes N. (2018). Validação do Questionário Inventaire du Milieu Familial. Jornal de Pediatria, 95: 314–320. doi:10.1016/j.jped.2018.02.008

Gobbi, G., Ghabrash, M.F., Nuñez, N., Tabaka,J., Di Sante, J., Saint-Laurent, M., Vida, S., Kolivakis, T., Low, N., Cervantes, P., Booij, L., & Comai, S. (2018). Antidepressant combination versus antidepressants plus second-generation antipsychotic augmentation in treatment-resistant unipolar depression. International Clinical Pharmacology, 33:34–43. doi:10.1097/YIC.0000000000000196

Séguin, J.R., Booij, L., & Lilienfield, S. (2018). The neuropsychology of violence. In I.D. Waldman, D.J. Flannery, & A.T. Vazsonyi, (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of violent behavior. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Nguyen, T.V., Wu, M., Lew, J., Albaugh, M., Botteron, K., Hudziak, J.J., Fonov, V.S., Collins, D.L., Campbell,B.C., Booij, L., Herba, C., Trasler, J., Monnier, P., Ducharme, S., & McCracken, J.T. (2017). DHEA may improve working memory by shaping the development of cortico-hippocampal structural networks. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 86:110–121. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.09.013

Sild, M., Ruthazer, E., & Booij, L. (2017). Major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders from the glia perspective: Etiologial mechanisms, intervention and monitoring. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review, 83:474–488. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.09.014

Tao, C.S., Dhamija, P., Booij, L., & Menard, C. (2017). Adversity in early adolescence promotes an enduring anxious phenotype and increases serotonergic innervation of the infralimbic medial prefrontal cortex. Neuroscience, 364,15–27. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.09.004

Ismaylova, E., Di Sante, J., Szyf, M., Nemoda, Z., Yu, W-J., Pomares, F., Turecki, G., Gobbi, G., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2017). Serotonin transporter gene methylation in peripheral cells in healthy adults: neural correlates and tissue specificity. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 27,1032–1041. doi:10.1016/j.euroneuro.2017.07.005 

Schumann, L., Boivin, M., Paquin, S., La Course, E., Brendgen, M., Vitaro, F., Dionne, G., Tremblay, R.E., & Booij, L. (2017). Persistence and innovation effects in genetic and environmental factors in negative emotionality during infancy: A twin study. PlosOne, 12:1-16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0176601

Casey, K. F., Levesque, M. L., Szyf, M., Ismaylova, E., Verner, M. P., Suderman, M.,...& Booij, L. (2017). Birth weight discordance, DNA methylation, and cortical morphology of adolescent monozygotic twins: Birth weight, methylation, and brain morphology. Human Brain Mapping, 38(4), 2037–2050. doi:10.1002/hbm.23503

Tremblay, R.E., Booij, L., Provençal N., & Szyf, M. (2017). How can GxE research help prevent the development of chronic physical aggression. In P. Tolan & B. Leventhal (Eds.), Gene-Environment Transactions in Developmental Psychopathology. Advances in Development and Psychopathology: Brain Research Foundation Symposium Series, vol.2. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Booij, L., Welfeld, K., Leyton, M., Dagher, A., Boileau, I., Sibon, I., Baker, G.B., Diksic, M., Soucy, J-P., Pruessner, J.C., Cawley–Fiset, E., Casey, K.F., & Benkelfat, C. (2016). Dopamine cross-sensitization between psychostimulant drugs and stress in healthy male volunteers. Translational Psychiatry, 6:1–8. doi:10.1038/tp.2016.6 

Roberts, N., Booij, L., Axas, N., & Repetti, L. (2016). Two-year prospective study of characteristics and outcome of adolescents referred to an adolescent urgent psychiatric clinic. International journal of adolescent medicine and health, 30, 1. doi:10.1515/ijamh-2016-0006.

Khachatryan, D.,  Groll, D., Booij, L.,  Sepehry, A., & Schütz,C.G. (2016). Prazosin for treating sleep disturbances in adults with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. General Hospital Psychiatry, 39, 46–52.

Mazza, J. R., Pingault, J. B., Booij, L., Boivin, M., Tremblay, R., Lambert, J.,... & Côté, S. (2016). Poverty and behavior problems during early childhood: The mediating role of maternal depression symptoms and parenting. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 41(6), 670–680. doi:10.1177/0165025416657615

Chiarella, J., Tremblay, R.E.,Szyf, M., Provençal, N., Booij, L. (2015). Impact of early environment on children's mental health: Lessons from DNA methylation studies with monozygotic twins. Twin Res Hum Genet, 18, 623–634. doi:10.1017/thg.2015.84

Ghabrash, M.F., Comai, S.,Tabaka, J., Saint-Laurent, M., Booij, L., & Gobbi, G. (2015). Valproate augmentation in a subgroup of patients with treatment-resistant unipolar depression. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 2,165–170. doi:10.3109/15622975.2015.1073856

Lévesque, M., Fahim, C.,Ismaylova, E., Verner, MP., Casey, KF., Vitaro, F.,Brendgen, M., Dionne, G.,Boivin, M., Tremblay, RE., & Booij, L. (2015). The impact of the in utero and early postnatal environments on gray and white matter volume: A study with adolescent monozygotic twins. Developmental Neuroscience, 37, 489–96. doi:10.1159/000430982

Booij, L., Tremblay,R.E., Szyf, M., & Benkelfat, C. (2015). Genetic and early environmental influences on the serotonin system: Consequences for brain development and risk for psychopathology. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 40, 5–18. doi:10.1503/jpn.140099

Booij, L., Casey, K.F., Mazanek-Antunes, J., Szyf, M., Israel, M., Steiger, H. (2015). DNA methylation in individuals with Anorexia Nervosa and in matched normal-eater controls: A genome-wide study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48, 874–882. doi:10.1002/eat.22374

Provençal, N., Booij, L., & Tremblay, RE. (2015). The developmental origins of chronic physical aggression: Biological pathway striggered by early life adversity. Journal of Experimental Biology, 1, 123–133. doi:10.1242/jeb.111401

Booij, L., Szyf, M., Carballedo, A., Frey, M., Morris, D., Dimov, S., Vaisheva, F., Ly, V., Fahey, C., Meaney, J., Gill, M., Frodl, T. (2015). DNA methylation of the serotonin transporter gene in peripheral cells and stress-related changes in hippocampal volume: a study in depressed patients and healthy controls. PlosOne, 17;10, e0119061. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119061

Frodl, T., Szyf, M., Carballedo, A., Ly, V., Dimov, S., Vaisheva, F., Morris, D., Fahey, C., Meaney, J., Gill, M., & Booij, L. (2015). DNA Methylation of serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) associates with insular cortex function involved in awareness for emotional stimuli. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 40(5):296–305. doi: 10.1503/jpn.140180

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