Difficultés de cognition sociale et d'interactions sociales en schizophrénie: mieux comprendre pour mieux évaluer et mieux traiter

 

Amélie Achim

CIUSSS de la Capitale-Nationale

 

Domaine : neurosciences, santé mentale et toxicomanies

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers - Junior 2

Concours 2017-2018

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that markedly compromises social competence, leading to profound academic, occupational, and social functioning impairments. These difficulties persist despite current treatments. Optimising functional recovery and quality of life in these people, beyond remission of psychotic symptoms, is a major objective of current research in schizophrenia. Social functioning impairments are closely linked to people with schizophrenia's compromised ability to effectively interact with others through accurate understanding of their intentions, beliefs, or emotions. These abilities rely on social cognition, which has become an important new target for the development of novel treatments for schizophrenia.

My research program aims to understand the social cognition and social interaction deficits of people with schizophrenia, in order to improve the evaluations and treatments targeting these difficulties.

My research program uses a translational approach that spans from the production of new fundamental knowledge about the processes at play to the production of new tests and new treatments targeting these difficulties. My first research axis aims to improve our understanding of social cognition processes in order to develop tests and interventions that allow us to target each of these processes and to personalise the interventions to the needs of each person. My second research axis aims to understand and evaluate the impact of social cognition during real social interactions, which will favour the transfer of therapeutic gains (ex: cognitive remediation) in everyday life.

Mental health is a priority in Canada and in Quebec. It is thus urgent to understand, evaluate and treat the obstacles to functional recovery in schizophrenia, including social cognition deficits, to favour the social functioning and quality of life of these people.