Mental health

Neurodevelopmental disorders

Neurodevelopmental disorders occur in the early stages of development and are characterized by deficits in personal, social, educational or occupational functioning.

The deficit ranges from very specific learning limitations to the global impairment of social skills and intelligence.

Intellectual disability, communication disorders, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, specific learning disorder and movement disorders have been included in neurodevelopmental disorders. This complex of disturbances entails a high health, social and economic burden.

The Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) conducts research on neurodevelopmental disorders by a multidisciplinary approach including pre-clinical (animal models), clinical (population cohorts followed over time) and epidemiological studies. These studies aim to understand the processes underlying biological bases of these disorders, their onset and to develop innovative strategies for prevention, diagnosis and therapy.