Research includes studies on the neurobiology of childhood neuropsychiatric disorders including autism, Tourette syndrome and ADHD, as well as adult depression, PTSD and addiction.
Specialized Terms: Stress response systems; Serotonin neurochemistry and psychopharmacology; Early biomarkers
In a large Dutch collaborative study, we have demonstrated bimodal distribution of platelet serotonin in autism. Follow-up studies are attempting to identify disorder- and subgroup-specific alterations of potential etiological significance. Possible neurochemical (catecholamines) and neuroendocrine predictors and surrogates of treatment response in autism are being examined in multi-center studies coordinated by Dr. Lawrence Scahill of the Yale Child Study Center. In collaboration with Dr. Sylvie Tordjman of the University of Rennes, we are examining pineal function and sleep problems in autism, as well as investigating the relationship of ß-endorphin, pain reactivity and self-injurious behavior in autism.
Collaborative studies with three primate facilities have examined the ontogeny of neurotransmitter systems in rhesus monkeys and chimpanzee, neurochemical-behavioral correlates, and the effects of the short- and long-term SSRI in adolescent and adult rhesus. A series of collaborative human studies examine hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and sympathoadrenomedullary functioning in ADHD, Tourette syndrome, PTSD, smoking behavior, substance abuse, depression and trauma.
Autistic Disorder; Canada; Child Psychiatry; Depression; Tourette Syndrome; Netherlands; Neurobiology; Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic; Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders; Neuropsychiatry