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Tag: neurotransmitters

September 2021
researcher holds zebrafinch
Features

Fish, frogs, flies and other fauna in scientific firsts

by  /  8 September 2021

Over the past century, scientists have used a variety of animal models to advance their understanding of the developing brain and autism.

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A lighthearted, colorful, chaotic lab scene with fruit flies, worms peeking out of petri dishes, zebrafish in beakers and an octopus creeping out of a cabinet..
Features / Special Reports

Special report: Unusual animal models of autism

8 September 2021

In the past two decades, some autism researchers have turned to simple animals, such as roundworms, fruit flies and zebrafish, for their investigations. Others have sought answers from experiments with frogs, birds and even octopuses.

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Colorful illustration shows a esearcher with frogs and frog eggs.
Features

Autism research makes the leap to frogs

by  /  8 September 2021

Frogs are useful for autism research for a slew of reasons, including the fact that the animals’ initial development occurs outside of the mother’s body in plain view.

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August 2021
News

Drugs boost serotonin, socialization in multiple autism mouse models

by  /  6 August 2021

The finding that MDMA and an experimental serotonin agonist increase sociability across six different model mice suggests that disparate autism-linked mutations converge on the same underlying pathways.

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June 2021
Mouse neuron recordings showing different levels of activity before and after an encounter with an unfamiliar mouse.
News

Neural network captures noisy neurons in autism mouse model

by  /  18 June 2021

Mice missing the autism-linked gene SHANK3 use more neurons to engage in social behavior than control mice do, reflecting a more disorganized, less efficient brain signaling network.

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Illustration of transporter mice in brain maze
News

After 60 years, scientists are still trying to crack a mysterious serotonin-autism link

by  /  4 June 2021

The high levels of serotonin seen in the blood of some autistic people have confounded scientists for more than half a century. Despite so little progress, some researchers refuse to give up.

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May 2021
News

Stimulant restores cell signaling, eases behavior issues in animals missing autism gene

by  /  28 May 2021

Worms and zebrafish missing both copies of the gene CHD7 have disrupted cellular signaling, a dearth of inhibitory neurons and behavior changes — all of which are reversed by the stimulant drug ephedrine.

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February 2021
Serotonin proteins
News

Sensor helps scientists spy on serotonin activity in mice in real time

by  /  5 February 2021

A glowing protein tracks serotonin levels and location in the brains of living mice and could yield clues to the neurotransmitter’s role in autism.

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January 2020
Two silhouettes, of child and an adult in a twilight colored setting. We can see inside the brain and interactions with medicine and the brain. The child's head is surrounded by clouds and the adult head is in the clear.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Why serotonin medications may yet help children with autism

by  /  28 January 2020

A class of medications used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder seems to ease compulsive behaviors in adults with autism. Why can’t we tell if these medications work similarly in children with the condition?

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Opinion / Viewpoint

How the autonomic nervous system may govern anxiety in autism

by ,  /  14 January 2020

The branch of the nervous system that regulates subconscious bodily processes such as breathing and digestion may play a key role in autism.

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