The response: Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorder Network - POND
More than 300,000 children and youth in Ontario suffer from autism, ADHD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
The symptoms of these disorders – anxiety, depression, compulsive activity, social isolation, to name just a few – exact a huge emotional cost on children and their families. And then there are the costs to society: lost productivity and potential, plus life-time bills to the medical system of up to $2 million per individual.
The Ontario Brain Institute challenged neuroscientists across the province to come up with a new approach to addressing neurodevelopmental disorders, in the context of an Integrated Discovery program. “Integrated Discovery” is a unique template, developed by the OBI, that brings together researchers, clinicians, industry and patient advocates to maximize fresh insights and speed translation of those insights into better care.
The result was the Province of Ontario Neurodevelopmental Disorder Network – POND.
The program is focusing on four key disorders – autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders and intellectual disability. It will advance our knowledge and treatment by…
- developing biological models of the disorders that will lead to better understanding of how they operate and how they might be treated
- creating Canada’s first clinical trials network for neurodevelopmental disorders, to begin examining the safety and effectiveness of new treatments
- examining possible environmental risk factors connected to the disorders
To facilitate these activities, POND will develop a large and diverse database of children with the four disorders. This is part of the OBI’s Brain-CODE initiative.
The POND effort involves four major institutions in three Ontario cities, 27 researchers and clinicians, 16 industry partners and six patient advocacy organizations.
- POND website
- Neuroanatomical Assessment of the Integrin β3 Mouse Model Related to Autism and the Serotonin System Using High Resolution MRI
- Neuroanatomical analysis of the BTBR mouse model of autism using magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imagin