Examining long-term trajectories and outcomes of children at genetic risk for neurodevelopmental disorders (EXTEND)

Project description for EXTEND


Neurodevelopmental problems are frequently occurring in children from an early age and around one in ten are eventually diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such as autism or ADHD. These problems and disorders are associated with often life-long impairments and distress for individuals and families, and high societal costs. Still, there is a wide gap in knowledge of the long-term course and outcomes of children at risk. Bringing together state-of-the-art molecular genetic and epidemiological methods and unique long-term longitudinal data from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort (MoBa, N>100,000 pregnancies), the EXTEND project will provide clinically actionable insights and an empirical platform for better understanding how genetic liabilities for neurodevelopmental disorders manifest in boys and girls across early childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Access to genome-wide association discovery samples of unprecedented sample sizes, with up to five times more cases of neurodevelopmental disorders as previously available, allows us to calculate the individual genetic risk for in MoBa participants with increased precision. The rich and longitudinal follow-up data will allow us to identify environmental factors that reduce adverse phenotypic expressions of the genetic risk. Knowledge of sex differences, developmental patterns, and protective factors will aid early detection, identification of intervention targets and optimal timing of interventions.

Contact person 

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Alexandra Havdahl

PaGE research group leader



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Stian Valand

Project coordinator and PhD student

Last updated 1/30/2024