The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) Project and Studies of Risk and Resilience in Maltreated Children.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL: 
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26210330
Author: 
Coplan JD
Author List: 
Kaufman J
Gelernter J
Hudziak JJ
Tyrka AR
Coplan JD
Journal: 
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
PubMed ID: 
26210330
Pagination: 
617-25
Volume: 
54
Issue: 
8
Abstract: 
The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project was initiated to develop, for research purposes, new ways of classifying mental disorders based on dimensions of observable behavior and neurobiological measures. This article reviews the rationale behind the RDoC program, its goals, and central tenets; discusses application of an RDoC framework to research with maltreated children; and highlights some clinical implications of this work.Published RDoC papers were reviewed, together with relevant preclinical and clinical studies that guide our work on risk and resilience in maltreated children.The ultimate long-term goal of the RDoC initiative is precision medicine in psychiatry. In the interim, the RDoC initiative provides a framework to organize research to help develop the database required to derive a new psychiatric nomenclature that can appropriately match treatments to patients. The primary focus of RDoC is on neural circuitry, with levels of analyses that span from molecules to behavior. There has been some concern that the RDoC framework is reductionist, with an overemphasis on neural circuits and genetics; however, the briefly reviewed, burgeoning literature on neuroplasticity and epigenetics highlights that this concern is unwarranted, as one cannot study neural circuits and genetics without considering experience.The study of maltreated children has a number of advantages for the RDoC project, including the following: study of a subset of patients who are often not responsive to standard interventions; examination of a relatively homogenous sample with onset of psychopathology proposed to be associated with stress-related mechanisms; and well-established, relevant animal models to facilitate translational research.
Published Date: 
August, 2015

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