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Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

26/06/18 Autism traits could be 'edited' out genetic trial suggests

Autism traits may be “edited” out using new genetic techniques, scientists have said, following a successful trial. Researchers are hailing a breakthrough after they used cutting-edge gene editing to to significantly reduce repetitive behaviour associated with the disorder. The technique, which was performed on mice, could also be developed to treat conditions ranging from opioid addiction and neuropathic pain to schizophrenia and epileptic seizures.


02/05/18 Autism test and treatment on horizon as scientists find hormone deficiency link 

A test and possible treatment for autism could be on the horizon after scientists discovered that people and primates who are less social are deficient in a particular hormone. In tests on rhesus monkeys, they found that less social animals had levels of the hormone which were almost one third lower than their more gregarious peers. And a similar deficiency was found in 14 autistic boys. Although the results are preliminary, the researchers believe their findings suggest that AVP may not only provide a test for autism, but also be a target for developing drugs to alleviate social impairment.


23/03/18 How Much Can a Mouse Truly Reveal About Autism?

The ideal “autism mouse,” researchers thought at the time, should show all the same traits that characterize autism in people: language and social problems, and restricted and repetitive behaviors. Some mutant mice make fewer ultrasonic vocalizations than controls do, which many behaviorists took to be an analog of language problems. Other models groom, jump, or bury marbles to an excessive degree—actions the researchers interpreted as repetitive behaviors reminiscent of autism. But researchers were most intent on sniffing out social deficits, a hallmark feature of autism. If they could pin down a murine model of this trait, the thinking went, perhaps they could design drugs to address it—or could at least better understand the brain pathways involved.


Last edited: 11 March 2019 15:16

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