Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is related to neurological development and affects 1 in 68 children. The fundamental symptoms generally include communication challenges such as language delay and difficulties with back and forth social interactions. Up until now, clinical observations have been made about either social behaviors or about stereotypic repetitive behaviors, with each behavioral phenotype becoming the target of a specific treatment. However, observations of the simultaneous existence of both behavioral phenotypes in patients with autism leads to the suspicion of a common cause of cerebral origins. The nature of this common origin still remains largely unknown.
The project consists of implementing a translational neuroscientific research program in order to observe the interconnection of neuronal networks at the cerebral level and their impact on the development of the disease. It will use new cerebral imaging technologies along with molecular techniques for cellular stimulation in order to observe the development of the cerebral networks associated with both behavioral phenotypes.
Professor Camille Bellone, Department of Fundamental Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva
Professor Marie Schaer, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Geneva