There are multiple causes, some genetic, some environmental, that may explain autistic spectrum disorders. During medical consultations, the focus is on identifying genetic forms to better explain the diagnosis to parents.
Pr Arnold Munnich, President of the Fondation Imagine
The Chair will help accelerate the understanding of the causes and mechanisms of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders, which are still all too often unknown. It is based on a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary approach organized around 4 axes:
- AXIS I: Define, Diagnose, Phenotype
Identifying familial, extreme, and syndromic forms related to neuropsychological assessments is often a key entrance point to genes, and therefore to the mechanisms involved.
- AXIS II: Imaging
Uncovering the brain areas involved and their characteristic signs, and then correlating these observations with genetic data, are the challenges of this brain imaging research.
- AXIS III: Identify Genes
Explore genetic causes and susceptibilities through the most extreme and familial forms to offer a more accurate diagnosis and move toward possible screening for at-risk families.
- AXIS IV: Deciphering Mechanisms
Make the link between the brain areas and the neuronal disorders responsible for the defective connections during neurodevelopment and the genes involved.
Context & Objectives
Neurodevelopmental disorders affect 700,000 people in France and represent a multitude of different phenotypes, now also grouped under the term “Autism Spectrum Disorders” (ASD). It is estimated that 30 to 35% of ASD have genetic origins. Several of these genes have been discovered at the Institut Imagine.
The goal of this “Genetics of Neurodevelopmental Disorders and the Autistic Spectrum in Children” chair is to better define these pathologies, decipher genetic origins, identify therapeutic approaches, and improve treatment.
/ To recruit a dedicated international Team of Researchers and Students
/ To acquire technological Equipment
/ To fund a Cross-Lab bringing together several Partners in a Research Project with high-added Value