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Department of childhood psychiatry, with the group of studying childhood autism

Simashkova Natalia Valentinovna - is the head of the Department of childhood psychiatry with a group studying childhood autism, doctor of medical sciences. She upheld her PhD (Candidate of Med. Sci.) in 1984, and doctoral thesis Atipic Schildhood Autism in 2006. Her scientific interests involve: problems of personality pathology and the structure of personality dysontogenesis; assessment of hereditary predisposition to factors in probands index-cases with preferentially childhood syndromes, a determination of the relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors into the variability of clinical signs and symptoms with a high degree of inherited factors; clinical and a biological background of a pathogenetic conception of endogenous mental disorders in childhood. She is an author of 140 scientific work

The Department was organized in 1998, based on the unit of mental disorders in childhood that was a part of the Centre since 1982. In its turn, this department represented a structural development of the department of childhood psychiatry, that had existed in the Institute of Psychiatry of AMS USSR from the very first days of its functioning. For many years, the team of this department had been working under the leadership of Prof. T.P. Simson, who was widely known for her works in the field of early childhood schizophrenia. Later on, this department was guided by Prof. G.K. Ushakov (1961-1965) and Prof. M.Sh. Vrono (1965-1989), who studied various forms of schizophrenia in children, manifestations of mental dysontogenesis caused by this disorder and began to work on the role of heredity in the various types of mental pathology in childhood.

The department is staffed by 14 research fellows.

Scope of research activities of the Department:

1. Evaluation of the special features of endogenous psychoses in childhood and in age-related aspects, aimed at the identification of early diagnostic criteria, determination of the prognosis and improvement of treatment and preventive measures.

2. A comparative nosological evaluation of patterns and conditions of development of childhood autism and other forms of psychic dysontogenesis in childhood. Evaluation of specific features of autism in childhood in various forms of mental retardation, based on clinical, genetic and cytogenetic verification of the syndrome, as well as on the data of neurophysiological examination (in collaboration with the laboratories of cytogenetics and neurophysiology).

3. Elaboration of methods of treatment of mental disorders in children as in- and out-patients, including rehabilitation measures and family therapy.