Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
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August 18, 2014 Event

Stress: The influence of sex and gender

For a long time, male subjects were the focus of mental health studies. Considering the biological and psychological differences between men and women, are clinical approaches and treatments for mental illnesses—and our understanding of them—effective to the same degree for both sexes?

From August 19 to 22, 300 renowned international researchers will attend the 44th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE) at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal to talk about sex and gender differences in brain-hormone interactions and thereby better understand stress and its impact on mental health. This event was organized by Sonia Lupien, Director of the Centre for Studies on Human Stress at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal, and by Jens Pruessner, a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

Sex and gender: What's the difference?
“Over time, researchers have incorporated the concepts of sex and gender into their work to better understand the brain-hormone interactions that may trigger the development of mental illness. Pharmacological and psychosocial treatments must therefore be tailored to these characteristics,” stated Sonia Lupien, a professor at the Faculty of Medicine at Université de Montréal. “Here at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress, we've observed that gays, lesbians and bisexuals who are open about their sexual orientation show lower levels of stress hormones and have fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression and burnout.” 
The influence of sex and gender on the brain and hormones 
The International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology (ISPNE) promotes and disseminates knowledge on hormones, their interactions with the brain and body processes and behaviour, and their clinical applications. ISPNE researchers are looking more and more at how sex and gender differences affect brain-hormone interactions so that they can gain a better understanding of mental health. The annual meeting will therefore highlight clinical and fundamental perspectives of sex and gender across the lifespan. The symposia will also deal with notions of sex differences in hormone measures across different age ranges as well as gender issues in psychiatric disorders related to stress.

Conference Program
Press Release 



Catherine Dion
Communications Department – Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal
Phone: 514-251-4000, extension 2986 - Cell.: 514-235-4036

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