Psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, and bipolar disorder are characterized by a strong genetic component and a robust correlation with cognitive/social dysfunctions. From a therapeutic perspective, “diagnostics” boundaries in psychiatry might be refined by genetically informed analyses and/or overcome by a focus on basic dimensions of functioning. Notably, diagnostic- and empirically-based therapeutics often produce inefficient and highly variable responses, especially for cognitive and social deficits. Clinical guidelines strongly recommend adapting treatments to each individual case but, so far, no biomarkers exist to implement personalized treatments.
We aim to provide new knowledge on the mechanistic bases of the unpredictable variability of treatment efficacy in cognitive and social processes, by considering the impact of genetic variations, critical developmental periods and sex differences. In particular, we test specific hypotheses regarding functional common genetic variants, epistatic interactions or specific copy number variants syndromes, with high penetrance in the development of schizophrenia, autism and ADHD (e.g. 22q11.2, 16p11.2).