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angle-left Marco Leyton, PhD

Senior Scientist, RI-MUHC

Brain Repair and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Program


Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University



addictions • personality traits • mood disorders • neurobiology

Research Focus

My research focuses on the neurobiology of addictions and addiction-related psychiatric disorders. I have been particularly interested in identifying vulnerability traits that affect differential susceptibility to addictions, how these features change as people develop a substance use problem, and whether it might be possible to use these features as markers for early interventions and treatment.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Leyton M, Vezina P. Dopamine ups and downs in vulnerability to addictions: a neurodevelopmental model. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences 2014;35(6):268-276 PMID: 24794705.

  • Casey KF, Benkelfat C, Cherkasova MV, Baker GB, Dagher A, Leyton M. Reduced dopamine response to amphetamine in subjects at ultra high risk for addiction. Biological Psychiatry 2014;76(1):23-30 PMID: 24138922.

  • Milella MS, Marengo L, Larcher K, Fotros A, Dagher A, Rosa-Neto P, Benkelfat C, Leyton M. Limbic system mGluR5 availability in cocaine dependent subjects: a high-resolution PET [11C]ABP688 study. NeuroImage 2014;98:195-202 PMID: 24795154.

  • Fotros A, Casey KF, Larcher K, Verhaeghe JAJ, Cox SM, Gravel P, Reader AJ, Dagher A, Benkelfat C, Leyton M. Cocaine cue-induced dopamine release in the amygdala and hippocampus: a high-resolution PET [18F]fallypride study in cocaine dependent participants. Neuropsychopharmacology 2013;38(9):1780-1788 PMCID: PMC3717549.

  • Cox SML, Benkelfat C, Dagher A, Delaney JS, Durand F, Kolivakis T, Casey KF, Leyton M. Effects of lowered serotonin transmission on cocaine-induced striatal dopamine response: a PET [11C]raclopride study in humans. British Journal of Psychiatry 2011;199(Nov):391-397 PMID: 21543823.