Research May Pinpoint Rare Genetic Link to Autism

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A team has just published a research article in Science magazine describing what may be the first accurate genetic mouse model of non-syndromic autism (that is, autism that is not associated with some other syndrome like Fragile X, Rett Syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis, etc.).

That's one small step for a giant leap for understanding autism!

The research team inserted a rare, disease-linked human genetic mutation in place of a normal gene in the mice. The resulting mice have decreased social interactions, but other behaviors are actually intact. Interestingly, they even have slightly enhanced spatial cognitive function, a bit like some autistic humans with special gifts.

Now, this is not even close to a cure yet. But scientists are beginning to understand some of the rare genetic cases autism, and understanding the genetic causes may lead them to common themes for idiopathic disease in the distant future.

Abstract of the scientific article. (Better know your science lingo.)

More details in more understandable language.




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