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The developing brain: in sickness and in health

Advances in neuroscience, psychiatry and genetics are dramatically changing our understanding of the way the human brain develops, a process which starts in the uterus and is not complete until our late 20s.

These discoveries are improving our understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, ADHD, intellectual disability and foetal alcohol spectrum disorder. They are also giving clues to how, when and why serious mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, develop – potentially giving opportunities to intervene earlier.

On Tuesday 19 March, The Academy of Medical Sciences is holding a landmark scientific meeting in Oxford: ‘The developing brain in health and disease’.

Ahead of this meeting, the Academy and the SMC brought together leading US and UK researchers to answer questions on the research.


Dr Susan Weiss, Director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

Professor Daniel Geschwind, Gordon and Virginia MacDonald Distinguished Professor in Neurology, Psychiatry and Human Genetics, and Director of the Center for Autism Research and Treatment, University of California, Los Angeles

Professor Sir Mike Owen FMedSci FLSW, Co-Chair, The developing brain in health and disease: a scientific meeting and Director of MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University

Professor Peter B. Jones FMedSci, Professor of Psychiatry, Deputy Head, School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, Director, NIHR CLA

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