1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and associated neurodevelopmental disorder: mechanism and therapy
We are interested in the genetic and environmental risk factors of ADHD and related neurodevelopmental disorder. Genotyping and epigenetic analysis of relevant genes and polygenic risk factors (PRS) are investigated to elucidate their association with attention or/and hyperactivity phenotypes.
The mechanism of action of drugs used for ADHD treatment, e.g. methylphenidate (Ritalin) and Atomoxetine are studied to better understand the long term effects and the molecular and cellular causes for non-response. Moreover, alternatives, such a unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3) are investigated as alternative or add-on to the standard therapy.
To investigate the cellular and molecular alterations causing ADHD and neurodevelopmental delays, we use induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) generated from patients and controls, differentiated into brain cells.
2. Obsessive Compulsive disorders (OCD) and related disorders (OCRD)
Similarly to ADHD we aim to elucidate the genetic x environmental role of the two in the disorder and their therapy response. Both genetic and epigenetic biomarkers are assessed combining clinical phenotypes, severity (CY-BOCS) and therapy response in order to elucidate subgroups. Modeling OCD in a dish, using iPSC-derive neurons, opens the opportunity to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanism, and the etipoathogenesis of the disorder, as well as the molecular pathways leading to therapy resistance.