Editorial: Can neuroscience add to clinical practice?
Neuroscience is advancing rapidly but has so far generated few applications for clinicians in mental health. Several ‘biomarkers’ for neurodevelopmental disorders are already known. For example, cases of ADHD are more likely than controls to have differences in tissue fluid measures of noradrenaline, its metabolite MHPG, monoamine oxidase, zinc and cortisol (Scassellati, Bonvicini, Faraone, & Gennarelli, 2012). The strength of these associations with peripheral measures is not yet strong enough for practical purposes, with effect sizes no >1.4 when a clinical test would need to carry an effect size of 3.0 or more. The successes of neuroimaging have been in understanding dysfunctions at a group level, not for individuals. Nevertheless, it is time to consider how clinical practice might evolve to use an improving technology for individual patients.