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Celebrating the achievements of evidence-based child and adolescent mental health … and looking ahead to its continuous growth
  1. Samuele Cortese1,2,3,4,5,
  2. Gabriellle A Carlson6,
  3. Anthony James7
  1. 1 Center for Innovation in Mental Health, Academic Unit of Psychology, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  2. 2 Clinical and Experimental Sciences (CNS and Psychiatry), Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  3. 3 Solent NHS Trust, Southampton, UK
  4. 4 New York University Child Study Center, New York, USA
  5. 5 Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  6. 6 Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, New York, USA
  7. 7 Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Samuele Cortese, Academic Unit of Psychology and Clinical and Experimental Sciences (CNS and Psychiatry), University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK; samuele.cortese{at}gmail.com

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Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.—Benjamin Franklin

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Evidence Based Mental Health has devoted a Special Issue to child and adolescent mental health, acknowledging its crucial role in mental health. The issue, aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the advances and unmet needs in evidence-based child and adolescent mental health, includes three types of articles.

First, in a series of state-of-the-art reviews, renowned experts in the field provide a critical overview of the major advances in key areas of child and adolescent psychiatry over the past 20 years and highlight future research priorities. In a succinct but very thoughtful review, Doherty et al 1 guide us through the journey of the genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs), with a special focus on its implications for the clinical practice. While initial linkage analysis and candidate gene approaches to generate reproducible results were discouraging, genomewide analyses have recently revealed significant findings for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In addition, it appears that rare chromosomal deletions and duplications (copy number variants, in <1% population) can also contribute to the genetics of NDs. This has fuelled the debate around the most appropriate thresholds to refer patients with NDs and their families to clinical genetics services.

In a comprehensive overview of the advances and challenges of child and adolescent psychopharmacology, Vitiello and Davico2 highlight how the past two decades of research in this area have been progressively shaped by the evidence-based approaches. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to move from symptom improvement to disease-modifying interventions, especially with relevance …

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