Given that early detection and treatment have a positive impact on the life trajectory of children living with neurodevelopmental disorders, CHU Sainte-Justine has created CIRENE, a care and services centre entirely dedicated to these patients.
Neurodevelopmental disorders (attention deficit disorders and language disorders, intellectual disability, autism, etc.) affect more than 10% of children. These disorders are complex and difficult to diagnose during routine check-ups. They require extensive explorations, including genetic testing and the use of experts from different disciplines. This explains why more than half of children do not receive the appropriate diagnosis until after they have started school. The window of opportunity for catch up is between birth and the age of seven—the main period of brain development, a critical time to act and influence key acquisitions that will affect the rest of their lives.
In setting up interdisciplinary specialized clinics at CHU Sainte-Justine and implementing a screening and information web platform for children, families and stakeholders (A.I.D.E platform), CIRENE has helped:
- reduce patient orientation time from 15 months to two weeks
- reduce diagnostic evaluation wait times by 35%
- refer the child to the appropriate clinic in nearly all cases
- re-direct the child to the appropriate clinic, using the A.I.D.E. platform, in more than 30% of cases.
The deployment of CIRENE into the health care network began in a few centres in 2015, and will continue in the coming years. The goal is to create a true neurodevelopmental network with our partners in Québec.
Furthermore, research is getting more extensive in order to better understand brain development, revolutionize the diagnosis and find new treatments. CHU Sainte-Justine is home to the largest number of specialized clinicians in all areas of neurodevelopment (more than 45) and the largest concentration of researchers (nearly 40) in brain development and genetics in Québec.