A new mouse model for autism has obsessive behaviors and is less social and emits fewer vocalizations than controls, according to a study published 17 March in Behavioral Brain Research. These features could be be the result of much higher levels of FAM46, a gene of unknown function that may be involved in signaling between cells.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Researchers are using dogs as models of psychiatric and behavioral conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.
Genetic variations that tweak the brain’s release of oxytocin — a hormone involved in social bonding and establishing trust — may increase the risk of developing autism or traits of the disorder, according to three new studies published in the past few months.
Guoping Feng’s perseverance has proven a boon to the hundreds of neuroscientists who rely on his most celebrated scientific achievement: two dozen mouse strains engineered to have brightly colored brain cells. By creating the first robust mouse model of obsessive-compulsive disorder, Feng has also found a way to study repetitive behaviors, one of the three core characteristics of autism.
Variations linked to autism and schizophrenia crop up in people with a large variety of conditions, including bipolar disorder, seizures and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as in healthy people. This notion gained new support from unpublished data presented at the World Congress for Psychiatric Genetics in San Diego.
Computer software that maps the three dimensions of the brain has found that people with schizophrenia have deep grooves and small volumes in brain areas associated with planning and executive control.