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Montreal integrated neuropsychiatric cohort: Identifying subtypes of Autism and Schizophrenia integrating genomics, endophenotypes, and cohorts of high-risk genetic variants

Principal Investigator:
  • Sébastien Jacquemont, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre
Team Members:
  • Laurent Mottron, Université de Montréal
  • Ridha Joober, McGill University
  • Guy Rouleau, Montreal Neurological Hospital and Institute
  • Alan Evans, Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University
  • Carl Ernst, Douglas Mental Health University Institute
  • Sylvain Baillet, McConnell Brain Imaging Centre, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University
  • Mayada Elsabbagh, McGill University
  • Paul Pavlidis, University of British Columbia
  • Sarah Lippe, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre
  • Emmanuelle Lemyre, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Centre
  • CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre
  • Université de Montréal
  • Montreal Neurological Institute

Project Overview

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia (SZ) are two psychiatric conditions that affect approximately 2% of the general population. Genetic studies have identified mutations in hundreds of genes associated with ASD and SZ. This suggests that many different mechanisms are causing these disorders in patients. This great diversity has hindered our progress in understanding the mechanisms leading to these psychiatric conditions and genetic information is not yet been fully used in clinical psychiatry. In this project, we intend to use recent genetic discoveries to classify patients with autism and schizophrenia. We will identify in large autism and schizophrenia cohorts from Montreal and our international collaborators, patients who carry specific genetic mutations. We will compare them to patients who have other types of mutation or no identified mutation. This study will advance our knowledge on how these particular mutations lead to psychiatric symptoms and the differences in symptoms between individuals who carry mutations in different genes. If this project is successful, we will be able to identify individuals who are at a higher risk of suffering from autism or schizophrenia and establish early interventions. We will also be able to distinguish between different forms of theses disorders to avoid applying the same therapeutic approach to all patients. These are first steps in improving personalized care in psychiatric disorders.