The BTBR mouse model, an asocial strain often used to study autism, may not be optimal for autism research, suggests an unpublished study presented today at the 2013 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Sebastián, Spain.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Some Chinese individuals with autism have rare mutations that may disrupt the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, according to a study published 17 January in PLoS One.
Mice that model Angelman syndrome or have a duplication of the 15q11-13 chromosomal region have aberrant brain levels of the chemical messenger serotonin, according to a study published 16 August in PLoS One.
As the central organ regulating maternal-fetal interactions, the placenta is perfectly positioned to mediate environmental and genetic risk factors during prenatal development. It may also relay risk factors for autism to the fetus, says Paul Patterson.
Compounds that target the receptor for the chemical messenger serotonin could help treat fragile X syndrome, according to a study published 17 July in Biological Psychiatry.
Lowering blood levels of the amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the chemical messenger serotonin, changes how the autism brain responds to emotions, according to a report published 4 June in PLoS One.
Children who receive a combination of melatonin and behavioral therapy fall asleep faster and have better sleep quality than those who get either treatment alone or those on placebo, according to a study published 22 May in the Journal of Sleep Research.