Deliberate paradigm shift in research in rare neurodevelopmental disorders

Bain, Jennifer M.; Ardalan, Adel; Goldman, Sylvie

Diagnosis and management of children with rare neurodevelopmental disorders (RNDDs) are complex. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the research activities critical to improve our understanding and treatment of RNDDs, such as creating large international registries and developing natural history studies. In this communication, we reflect on our latest effort in conducting research remotely while providing support, education and feedback to families affected by a specific RNDD. Specifically, we advocate for a deliberate paradigm shift towards virtual family meetings as ecological platforms to enroll and assess individuals with rare disorders. Herein, we demonstrate that such a shift is crucial to substantially increasing geographical and age range coverage, which are essential for capturing the phenotypic variations in RNDDs. Finally, we call on the community to invest in building integrated technological platforms necessary for effective remote research activities, through standardization, collaboration and training.


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Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases

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December 20, 2022