Prairie vole pups exposed to the antidepressant fluoxetine in the womb show autism-like behaviors and lose some receptors for oxytocin and vasopressin.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
The environment’s influence on gene expression can vary by sex and affect autism’s expression.
A drug that blocks the function of the hormone vasopressin improves social interactions and memory in rats that model autism.
Children with autism who have low vasopressin levels struggle to understand the thoughts of others.
Oxytocin has long been eyed as a treatment for autism, but trials in people with the disorder have yielded conflicting results. A new study bolsters the case for the so-called ‘trust hormone’ as an autism therapy, finding that it eases social deficits in a mouse model of the disorder.
Monkeys living in natural groups show individual variations in social behavior that may help scientists understand autism and identify treatments for the disorder, according to unpublished studies presented at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Like people, monkeys vary widely in their social abilities. Behavioral neuroscientist Karen Parker explains how studying social behavior in monkeys can advance how we understand and treat autism.
There are no available medications for treating autism’s core symptoms, but there are several candidates in clinical trials. Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele describes the factors researchers must take into account when developing drugs for the disorder.
Genetic variants in a receptor for the hormone oxytocin may contribute to the range of social skills seen in individuals with and without autism, suggests a study published 4 February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Long-term treatment with oxytocin impairs prairie voles’ ability to produce the hormone on their own, according to unpublished results presented Monday at the 2013 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego.