Over the past century, scientists have used a variety of animal models to advance their understanding of the developing brain and autism.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Researchers are increasingly turning to simple animals to learn about autism biology and find leads for new drugs.
The investigational drug arbaclofen may right an imbalance between inhibitory and excitatory signaling in the animals’ brains.
Infusions of the hormone oxytocin may make mice that model autism more social by normalizing their brain activity patterns.
Deleting the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 from mice leads to distinct cellular and electrical changes in the cerebellum, according to two unpublished studies presented virtually today at the 2021 Society for Neuroscience Global Connectome.
A tool that relies on video cameras and machine learning can identify mice that have mutations in a top autism gene by their behaviors. It also detects how a widely used autism drug affects their movements.
Mice missing an autism gene groom themselves more than usual and have altered circadian rhythms after nighttime exposure to light.
Mice missing the autism gene NLGN3 have altered social behaviors and brain responses to the hormone oxytocin, both of which improve after treatment with a drug that helps regulate protein production.
Lowering the levels of a protein called tau, best known for its involvement in Alzheimer’s disease, improves behavior in two mouse models of autism.
Neurons in mice that lack an autism gene called CNTNAP2 do not differentiate well between social and nonsocial smells — an issue that seems to stem from haphazard neuronal firing.