The project provides state of the art mouse brain imaging to researchers in Canada working on models of neurodevelopmental disorders. The use of mouse models enables scientists to probe the function of the multiple genes implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders. Our ability to characterize the phenotype of each of these mouse models is, however, still limited. The assessment of mouse behaviour, in particular social and repetitive behaviours, restricted interests, and communication abilities, has produced important insights into gene function.
The platform will add mouse brain imaging to ongoing experiments studying neurodevelopmental disorders across Canada. This will simultaneously add a new level of systems neuroscience analysis to those experiments, and greatly enhance research into the entire spectrum of autism and related disorders by enabling direct comparisons across all mouse brain imaging experiments. The use of MRI will furthermore allow for assessing similarities and differences between the mouse experiments and human clinical imaging studies. This platform thus represents an opportunity for further enhancing Canada’s leading role in integrating neurodevelopmental disorders from model system to clinical studies and trials.