This research program aims to improve our understanding of the biology of mental illness in young people. This covers brain imaging (structure, function, and chemistry), cognitive ability (memory, attention, etc), and measures derived from blood samples (such as genetics, or immune response). We also want to understand how these measures change over time, both as a result of normal development and of experiencing mental illness.
Why is this research important?
Understanding the contribution of neurobiology to the onset and persistence of mental disorders in young people will help develop new treatments, and target the ones we already have to those they are most likely to help.
Can neurobiological measures (brain imaging, cognitive testing etc) help predict clinical outcomes? Can they do so reliably and usefully?
What role does altered adolescent brain development play in the onset of mental illness?