Advancing precision medicine for ADHD: Deep phenotyping of neurodevelopment in an Australian based birth-cohort
Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder, affect millions of children and often continue into adulthood. Advances in the prevention, early detection and treatment of these conditions have been lagging. Precision medicine approaches may allow for rapid progress in our ability to assess risk at an individual level, detect early preclinical syndromes and initiate tailored preventive and treatment strategies. Technological advances now enable non-invasive, cost-effective, rapid screening assessments of neurodevelopment across the population. Characterisation of these assessments to obtain novel metrics of neurodevelopment at a population level will facilitate the goal of revolutionising precision health strategies for neurodevelopmental disorders.
In the Barwon Infant Study, a world-class Australian birth cohort study, we have conducted behavioural and physiological profiling of neurodevelopment in children aged 8-10 years old. This project will utilise Barwon Infant Study data to characterise novel read-outs of neurodevelopment. It will involve working in a multidisciplinary team to analyse neuro-retinal imaging (optical coherence tomography), eye-movement (eye-tracking) and cardiac vagal tone measures. The resulting biomarkers will be evaluated against child neurodevelopmental outcomes, particularly attention-deficit/hyper-activity disorder diagnosis. This will provide a state-of-the-art database of novel metrics of neurodevelopment of Australian children, which will inform future precision health strategies.
Professor James Armitage – Deakin University
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