Researchers of the Psychiatry, Mental Health and Addictions group at Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR) participate in a major new initiative with the aim to uncover the biology of Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The project is unique in its kind through combining an interdisciplinary pan-European team of scientists and 15 PhD students, as well as cross-sectoral collaboration with industry. One of these PhD students will start to work at VHIR, in the ADHD research line, led by Drs. Josep Antoni Ramos-Quiroga and Marta Ribases.
Funded by a €3.9 million grant from the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Training Network grant, the project, called MiND (Mastering skills in the training Network for attention deficit hyperactivity and autism spectrum Disorders), is believed to make major advancements to understanding the risk factors involved in the development of ADHD and ASD. It will also translate findings to offer individuals better diagnosis and more individualised treatment. The project involves 21 consortium members from 10 countries.
ADHD and ASD are chronic and highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorders. ADHD affects around 5.3% of children and 2.5% of adults. ASD affects around 1% of children and adults. Despite their societal importance, progress in understanding their disorder biology has been slow and insufficient treatment options are available. The study MiND aims to tackle such shortcomings.
On February, MiND beneficiaries successfully kicked off their 4-year project in a two-day meeting in Barcelona in the presence of representatives of the patient organisations ADHD-Europe and Autism-Europe as well as the EU program officers. Presentations by work package leaders and the EU officers were alternated with fruitful discussions in smaller groups.