In order to take greatest advantage of the potential for progress through collaboration, more detailed strategies to link prevention science with clinical and basic neuroscience are needed. This link needs to be supported both at the level of funding for individual investigators and also at the level of institutional infrastructure and support through funding for multidisciplinary research consortia.
Recommendation 5-2: Research funders, led by the National Institutes of Health, should dedicate resources to support collaborations between prevention scientists and basic and clinical developmental neuroscientists. Such collaborations should include both basic science approaches and evaluations of the effects of prevention trials on neurobiological outcomes, as well as the use of animal models to identify and test causal mechanisms and theories of pathogenesis.
Recommendation 5-3: Research funders, led by the National Institutes of Health, should fund research consortia to develop multidisciplinary teams with expertise in developmental neuroscience, developmental psychopathology, and preventive intervention science to foster translational research studies leading to more effective prevention efforts.
A well-supported collaborative research approach of this kind would provide an opportunity to investigate the potential use of genotyping and other biological markers as a basis for indicated prevention strategies. This opportunity needs to be approached with appropriate attention to social, ethical, and legal issues related to the use of individually identified biological information.
Conclusion: The prospect of using genetic and other neurobiological markers to identify young people at risk of MEB disorders raises important concerns, such as potential stigma, bias, and denial of insurance coverage. However, knowingly withholding scientific knowledge from populations who can benefit from them also raises ethical issues.
Recommendation 5-4: The National Institutes of Health should lead efforts to study the feasibility and ethics of using individually identified genetic and other neurobiological risk factors to target preventive interventions for MEB disorders.