Genetic and environmental modulation of neurodevelopmental disorders: Translational insights from labs to beds

Brain Res Bull. 2016 Jul;125:79-91. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2016.04.015. Epub 2016 Apr 23.


Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are a heterogeneous group of prevalent neuropsychiatric illnesses with various degrees of social, cognitive, motor, language and affective deficits. NDDs are caused by aberrant brain development due to genetic and environmental perturbations. Common NDDs include autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability, communication/speech disorders, motor/tic disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Genetic and epigenetic/environmental factors play a key role in these NDDs with significant societal impact. Given the lack of their efficient therapies, it is important to gain further translational insights into the pathobiology of NDDs. To address these challenges, the International Stress and Behavior Society (ISBS) has established the Strategic Task Force on NDDs. Summarizing the Panel's findings, here we discuss the neurobiological mechanisms of selected common NDDs and a wider NDD+ spectrum of associated neuropsychiatric disorders with developmental trajectories. We also outline the utility of existing preclinical (animal) models for building translational and cross-diagnostic bridges to improve our understanding of various NDDs.

Keywords: Experimental model; Model organism; Neurodevelopmental disorder; Preclinical study; Translational research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees / standards
  • Animals
  • Environment*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / genetics*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / psychology
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / therapy*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*