Increasing evidence is strengthening the hypothesis that immune vulnerability and altered inflammatory responses might play a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, and schizophrenia. In particular, early alterations in immune activity have been linked with aberrant developmental trajectories in cognitive and social processes.
We aim to investigate the immune-brain communication as the base of alterations in cognitive and social processes, as well as treatment responses. In particular, we study copy number variants microdeletion syndromes with robust penetrance in the development of schizophrenia, autism and ADHD (e.g. 22q11.2, 16p11.2), as a unique opportunity to address the interplay between genetic- and immune-vulnerability in the development of cognitive and social alterations.