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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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