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MoBaBrain: National network for brain development and increased societal impact

Alternative title: MoBaBrain: Nasjonalt nettverk for hjerneutvikling og psykisk helse

Awarded: NOK 0.80 mill.

Childhood and adolescence are periods characterised by biological changes and major life transitions. For some individuals these periods are also associated with increased risk of developing mental disorders. Indeed, 50% of adult patients report having experienced symptoms before 14 years of age and 75% before the age of 24. Thus, the onset of most mental disorders co-occur with profound neurodevelopmental changes and transitions to new life-roles during adolescence. My providing neuroimaging data from a large number of children and adolescents in the Mother, father and child (MoBa) study cohort we will investigate the interactions between genetic, neurological, and environmental/social variables, both to understand and map normal brain development, as well as to uncover how abnormal development is associated with symptoms of mental illness throughout formative life phases. We will combine brain imaging, measures of cognition and mental health, and biological measures. The project is a collaboration between the University of Oslo, Oslo University Hospital, and researchers in Trondheim, Bergen, Tromsø and Stavanger. This coordination and support activity grant will promote the established national MoBaBrain network and facilitate and strengthen the strategies for open science, dissemination, and dcommunication in the ongoing ERC-funded BRAINMINT project.

This application will provide funding to support the recently established MoBaBrain network, which is a national Norwegian network comprising researchers from major Universities and University Hospitals in Norway. The aim of MoBaBrain is to collect highly valuable brain imaging data from children and adolescents in the Norwegian MoBa study before they develop mental illness. The participants are now in their early and late teens. Since this is a life phase with increasing incidence rates of mental disorders, this is a task with high urgency. MoBaBrain is enabled by and builds on the adolescent arm of the ERC grant BRAINMINT, but represents considerable added value by providing a national network with large opportunities for increased impact. The aims of the application are aligned with the criteria and priorities listed in the call, in particular “…the establishment and operation of national networks in connection with the H2020 or Horizon Europe project”. Providing administrative support will not only increase the direct value of the network, but will also indirectly support activities related to dissemination and outreach towards the scientific community, stakeholders and user groups, and the general public. Lastly, by supporting coordination and harmonisation across MoBaBrain sites, this application will strengthen our Open Science efforts through streamlined data management and curation to promote efficient and safe sharing of data and codes.

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