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Helping parents to help their children: A study protocol integrating video-feedback and epigenetics

I am pleased to share with you the recently published protocol for a multi-center, randomized clinical trial to assess the efficacy of a video-feedback intervention on parenting and developmental outcomes of children with neurodevelopmental disability. The EPI-BOND (Early Parenting Intervention – Biobehavioral Outcomes in infants with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Health.

This study - coordinated by dr. Montirosso at the IRCCS E. Medea in Bosisio Parini (Lecco) - also features the participation of the IRCCS Mondino Foundation and the University Hospital of AST Spedali Civili Brescia.

What is unique to this project is its multi-layer nature, which will include not only behavioral assessments of maternal caregiving behavior and child regulatory behavior (through videotaped interactions) but also biological markers of the intervention effects.

These biomarkers will include both neuroendocrine assessment of salivary cortisol and oxytocin as well as epigenetic markers in target genes associated with socio-emotional and socio-cognitive development.

The findings of this project not only will contribute to document the efficacy of early parenting interventions in the context of child neurodevelopmental disability. Unprecedented insights will be obtained for what pertains the potential biochemical pathways through which environmental support to parents may provide beneficial effects on children behavioral, emotional and cognitive development even in presence of disability conditions.

As the study is actually ongoing, stay tuned to be updated with the findings from the EPI-BOND research project!

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