Master’s Degree in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Development at the ULB and a Complementary Master in Work Psychology, Economic and Organisational Psychology at the ULB
2023-2024: "Bourse Alcogroup"
Exploration of the pro-cognitive effect of Pycnogenol® on the gut microbiota (gutbrain axis) in children and adolescents with and without ADHD
Laboratoire ou Hôpital la majeure partie du projet se déroule child psychiatry
This research project has the following objectives: (1) Firstly, to study the effects of taking Pycnogenol® on clinical symptoms and cognitive performance of children and adolescents with and without ADHD. (2) Secondly, to explore whether the GM of children and adolescents with ADHD differs from the GM of age-matched typically developing subjects (identification of a possible bacterial signature of GM in ADHD). (3) And to explore to what extent the effects of Pycnogenol® may be correlated with changes in the GM, and whether these differ between ADHD and typically developing subjects.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most prevalent disorder in child psychiatry (7.2%) and a public health priority. The etiopathogenesis is currently still not understood and as research in recent years has been relatively unsuccessful, it seems crucial to explore other lines of research. In particular, the study of the gut-brain axis through the investigation of the Gut Microbiota (GM) and the exploration of a possible gut dysbiosis in ADHD offer a very promising field of investigation. Our research has the following three objectives: (1) To study the effects of taking Pycnogenol®, a dietary supplement with antioxidant, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, on the clinical symptoms and cognitive performances of children (4-6 years) and adolescents (13-16 years) with and without ADHD. (2) To explore whether the GM of children and adolescents with ADHD differs from the GM of age-matched typically developing subjects. (3) To explore the extent to which the effects of Pycnogenol® may be correlated with changes in GM and whether these differ between ADHD subjects and typically developing subjects. In other words, my research project aims to study the gut-brain axis in ADHD through the neuropsychological assessment of cognitive functions, and through the prism of the administration of a natural and side effect-free treatment such as Pycnogenol®. This is a prospective, single-centred, randomised, double-blind interventional study for subjects with combined ADHD (ADHD-C) and neurotypical subjects comprising four arms: Pycnogenol® (n=50) vs placebo (n=50) in subjects with ADHD-C and Pycnogenol® (n=50) vs placebo (n=50) in neurotypical subjects. This research could open up very promising avenues both for understanding the etiopathogenesis of ADHD and for the prevention and treatment of this disorder. And perhaps also, more generally, for understanding the gut-brain axis in neurotypical children.