The study of the brain and brain diseases is one of the most complex in human biology. In children, continuous growth and change only add to this inherent complexity.
Though the high prevalence (up to 20%) of Neurological and psychiatric conditions among the paediatric population, there is a dissociation between the wealth of information, sophisticated resources and clinical practice that hinder the study of children’s brain. Among the causes figure scarce reports in the literature as compared to those of adults; the “classical” clinical approach which primarily focuses on symptoms rather than on understanding mechanisms and aiming for prevention and cure; and the very few neuropaediatricians trained in basic neuroscience.
Inspired by the innovative field of inborn errors of metabolism, the main motivation of our project is to link basic neuroscience, neurometabolism, and clinical approaches in paediatric neurology and paidopsychiatry, through the study of synaptic communication in children.
Purely focused on children and adolescents, such an ambitious project is based on a multi-level integrative network illustrating the philosophy of “systems biology” and moving from a reductionist to a more holistic approach to understand the brain in childhood. This represents a “paradigm shift” and the opportunity to develop new diagnostic tools, biomarkers and novel therapies.
Together in this great effort are people and labs around the world with the aim to understand the developing brain through synaptic communication: Fundació Sant Joan de Déu, Univesitat de Barcelona, Institut of Bioengineering of Catalonia, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau, Mint Labs.