Science Update January 30, 2007
New Tests May Help Researchers Detect Genetic Basis For Autism
Researchers have developed a set of behavioral tests in mice that mimic the core features of autism and may prove useful in detecting a genetic basis for the deficits in social interactions and rigid thinking seen in the disorder. Sheryl Moy and colleagues at the University of North Carolina, working with NIMH intramural investigator Jacqueline Crawley, evaluated mice from 10 inbred strains on a series of behavioral tasks that measured sociability, preference for new social partners, and resistance to change. Strains of mice that preferred to be alone rather than spend time with unfamiliar mice may provide genetic models for abnormal social interactions seen in autism, the study suggests. Similarly, strains that failed to reverse their established habits and find a reward when its location in a maze was changed may provide genetic models for the insistence on sameness and resistance to change seen in this neurodevelopmental disorder.
Publication: Special Issue on Animal Models of Autism in Behavioural Brain Research (10 January 2007)
NIMH Press Office
- Mental Health Information
- Statistics on Mental Disorders
- Summaries of Scientific Meetings
- Information about NIMH
- RePORTER: Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool Expenditures and Results
- PubMed Central: An Archive of Life Sciences Journals
- Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide
- News from the FieldExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
News From the Field
NIMH-Funded Science on EurekAlert
- Out of Sync With the World: Body Clocks of Depressed People Are Altered at Cell LevelExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nerve Stimulation for Severe Depression Changes Brain FunctionExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.
- Nearly 20 Percent of Suicidal Youths Have Guns in Their HomeExternal Link: Please review our disclaimer.