Navigation Links
Study finds first-ever genetic animal model of autism
Date:12/8/2007

Boca Raton, FL, December 8, 2007 By introducing a gene mutation in mice, investigators have created what they believe to be the first accurate model of autism not associated with a broader neuropsychiatric syndrome, according to research presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting. This animal model could help researchers better understand abnormal brain function in autistic humans, which could help them identify and improve treatment strategies. Broader neuropsychiatric conditions include Fragile X, the most common cause of inherited mental impairment, and Rett Syndrome, a childhood neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by normal early development followed by slowed brain and head growth, seizures, and mental retardation.

Autism is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by repetitive behaviors and by impairment in social interactions and communication skills. These symptoms can coexist with either enhanced or decreased cognitive abilities and skills.

Prior to this study we knew next to nothing about the mechanisms of autism in the brain, says study researcher Craig M. Powell, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. With this research, we can study changes in the brain that lead to autistic behaviors and symptoms, which may help us understand more about progression and treatment of the disorder.

The research team, led by Thomas Sdhof, M.D., professor and chairman of neuroscience at UT Southwestern, replaced the normal mouse neurologin-3 gene with a mutated neuroligin-3 gene associated with autism in humans. By doing so, the team was able to create a gene in the mice that is similar to the human autism disease gene. While the result amounted to a very small change in their genetic makeup, it perfectly mimicked the same small change occurring in some patients with human autism.

Dr. Powell studied the genetically altered mice and found that, when examined in behavioral tests that may reflect key signs of autism, they showed decreased social interaction with other mice; other traits, such as anxiety, coordination and pain sensitivity, were unaffected. These social interaction deficits, Dr. Powell says, are hallmark features of human autism. In addition, the mice showed enhanced spatial learning abilities, which may resemble the enhanced cognitive abilities in autistic savants (people who have a severe developmental or mental handicap as well as extraordinary mental abilities).

These findings could be especially helpful in identifying novel treatment approaches. We already know that inhibitory chemical synaptic transmission from one neuron to the next is increased in this mouse model. Now we can test drugs that decrease this effect directly in the mice and ask whether this reverses their social interaction deficits, Dr. Powell says. For now, the mainstay of autism treatment is still behavioral therapy. The earlier we can get patients involved with behavioral interventions, the better off people with autism will be. Dr. Powell adds that the model gives researchers insight into mouse brains which share important parallels with brains of living humans, which can only be studied in limited ways with the use of new brain imaging tools.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Reis
sreis@gymr.com
202-745-5103
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/6/2017)... 2017 Mintigo , the leader ... Predictive Sales Coach TM , its new artificial ... into Salesforce. This unique AI application will allow ... with deep knowledge of their customers and prospects ... Predictive Sales Coach extends Mintigo,s existing customer success ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Australian stem cell and regenerative ... has signed an agreement with the Monash Lung Biology ... Discovery Institute and Department of Pharmacology at Monash University, ... preclinical study to support the use of Cymerus™ mesenchymal ... Asthma is a chronic, long term lung ...
(Date:2/28/2017)... 27. Februar 2017  EyeLock LLC, ein marktführendes Unternehmen ... erstklassige biometrische Lösung zur Iris-Erkennung auf der ... LTE auf dem Mobile World Congress 2017 ... in Halle 3, Stand 3E10, vorstellen. ... Qualcomm Haven™ – eine Kombination aus Hardware, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV), a precision medicine ... Bill Welch , will be presenting at this ... AM EDT at the Essex House in ... Scientific Officer, Mark Erlander , Ph.D., will also ... The presentation will be webcast live at ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 Neurotrope, Inc. (OTCQB: NTRP),  a ... diseases, including Alzheimer,s disease, today announced that it ... the Company,s common stock on the NASDAQ Capital ... Market, a unit of the NASDAQ OMX Group. ... Opening Bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... Venture Fund (MBVF), today announced positive results of a ... standard drug therapy regimen in patients with multidrug-resistant pulmonary ... discovered by scientists at Sequella, Inc. ( USA ... A total of 140 patients were ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... -- Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SVA), a ... today announced that its board of directors has amended its shareholder ... March 27, 2017 to March 27, 2018. The amendment was not in ... Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is a China -based biopharmaceutical ...
Breaking Biology Technology: