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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

versão impressa ISSN 1516-4446versão On-line ISSN 1809-452X


CIRILLO, Alessandra et al. Population neuroscience: challenges and opportunities for psychiatric research in low- and middle-income countries. Braz. J. Psychiatry [online]. 2020, vol.42, n.4, pp.442-448.  Epub 03-Abr-2020. ISSN 1809-452X.


Population neuroscience is an emerging field that combines epidemiology and neuroscience to study how genes and the environment shape typical and atypical brain functioning. The objective of this study was to review key studies on population neuroscience from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and to identify potential gaps vis-à-vis studies conducted in high-income countries.


We conducted a systematic review to search for longitudinal cohort studies investigating the development of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents in LMICs. We performed an electronic search in the EMBASE and MEDLINE databases from inception to July 5th, 2019.


We found six cohorts from four countries that met our search criteria: three cohorts from Brazil, one from China, one from South Africa, and one from Mauritius. Relevant examples of findings from these studies are reported.


Our results demonstrate the impact of the valuable science output these cohort designs promote, allowing LMICs to have a share in frontline global psychiatry research. National and international funding agencies should invest in LMIC population neuroscience in order to promote replication and generalization of research from high-income countries.

Palavras-chave : Neuroscience; epidemiology; population neuroscience; low- and middle-income countries; review.

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