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Schachar Lab

Schachar Lab

The Schachar Lab is directed by Dr. Russell Schachar, MD, FRCPC, Dr. Schachar is a psychiatrist at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Senior Scientist at the SickKids Research Institute, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, and holds the Toronto Dominion Bank Financial Group Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Research in the Schachar lab focuses on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related psychiatric disorders. ADHD is a common, persistent, and impairing psychiatric disorder that is characterized by developmentally abnormal inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. It begins in early childhood and affects three to nine per cent of school-age children, 50 per cent of individuals referred to children’s mental health facilities, and four per cent of adults. Over two million children in North America take stimulant medication to treat ADHD on a daily basis. Childhood ADHD increases the risks for mental, physical and scholastic difficulties in adolescence and adulthood. For these reasons, ADHD poses a substantial burden on health care, educational, and judicial services and raises critical clinical, service delivery and ethical issues. Most importantly, ADHD is a source of considerable distress and impairment for affected individuals and their families.

Our research in both clinical and normally-developing individuals examines how genetic and environmental influences interacting from the moment of conception and over time influence thinking, feeling and actions causing problems in attention, learning and behaviour. We are particularly interested in how people differ in their abilities to pay attention, control their impulses, or control their activity levels and how these competencies influence the onset, maintenance and treatment of ADHD and other disorders. Our goal is to improve early detection, outcome and treatment prediction and therapy.