Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDDs): NICHD Research Goals

NICHD research on intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) seeks to identify the causes of these disorders, determine the number of individuals affected by IDDs and related conditions, and discover effective treatments. In addition, the NICHD seeks to prevent IDDs and identify ways that women can have a healthy pregnancy.

Some of the NICHD’s projects related to IDDs include (but are not limited to):

  • Examination of the pathophysiological and genetic bases of IDDs
  • Evaluation of how IDDs affect learning, cognition, and memory; evaluations include neuroanatomic, neurophysiologic, structural and functional imaging, and neuropsychologic studies
  • Characterization of family and community relationships in IDDs and research on the processes of mutual influence between individuals with IDDs and other members of their families or communities
  • Identification of the impact of motor and sensory limitations on communicative ability in individuals with IDDs, including verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Evaluation of the psychobiological and behavioral factors and processes that influence social/emotional development and expression in IDDs
  • Assessment of self-injurious behavior in individuals with IDDs, including studies of the pathophysiology and behavioral deficits associated with self-injurious behavior and other repetitive behaviors, and also identification of effective treatment strategies
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