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Tag: social deficits

March 2021
Scanning elecgron micrograph of Faecal bacteria.
News

Gut microbes shape social behavior in autism mouse model

by  /  26 March 2021

Treating mice missing the autism-linked gene CNTNAP2 with a strain of gut bacteria makes them more social but no less hyperactive.

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Boy in brain-like tunnel looking towards the light
Features / Deep Dive

Puberty and autism: An unexplored transition

by  /  24 March 2021

Researchers are just beginning to learn what happens in the brains of autistic children during adolescence to explain their unique social, cognitive and emotional challenges.

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February 2021
Transmission Electron micrograph shows mitochondria colored an aqua blue.
News

Changes to mitochondrial DNA spur autism-like traits in mice

by  /  17 February 2021

Mice with a mutation in their mitochondrial DNA show altered brain activity, repetitive behaviors and reduced sociability, according to a new study.

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January 2021
Mouse brain slices shown in red
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Vasopressin relieves social deficits in an autism mouse model

by  /  25 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of MAGEL2 have trouble discerning between a familiar mouse and an unfamiliar one; treating them with the social hormone vasopressin reverses this deficit.

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dopamine neurons in mice show up green in an area of the brain associated with social reward.
News

Dopamine neurons may dampen social behavior in mouse model of autism

by  /  12 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene PTEN show a reduced preference for social interaction, possibly due to atypically large, overconnected dopamine neurons. Easing the overconnection may alleviate this trait.

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Two rats interacting
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Female rats master social recognition later than males do

by  /  12 January 2021

Young male rats can recognize rats they’ve recently met, whereas young females treat new acquaintances like strangers, research shows.

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December 2020
Oxytocin neurons stained pink and green.
News

Autism-linked gene exerts varied effects on oxytocin circuits in mice

by  /  18 December 2020

Two types of neurons process social information, a new mouse study suggests, but only one is disrupted in mice missing the autism-linked gene FMR1.

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Approximately 24 month old twin girls, one of them reaching for something.
News

Genes’ influence on social behaviors shifts with age

by  /  14 December 2020

Some social behaviors associated with autism are heritable, but the extent to which genes and the environment influence these behaviors changes as a child grows.

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November 2020
Owen leaving his home for a bike ride, followed by his therapists and teachers.
Features / Deep Dive

Owen’s odyssey: A year and a half after an autism diagnosis

by  /  25 November 2020

This is part 2 of Owen’s story. It tracks his early progress in treatment for autism. Part 1 described his difficult path to a diagnosis.

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October 2020
Toddler vocalizing with parent.
News

Social motivation predicts language skills in autistic children

by  /  8 October 2020

The more children with autism tune in to and communicate with others as toddlers, the stronger their conversation skills are later in childhood.

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