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MIT Scientists Researchers Recreate Autism in Mice - featured March 21, 2011

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[Source: Medical News Today]

By mutating a single gene, researchers at MIT and Duke have produced mice with two of the most common traits of autism - compulsive, repetitive behavior and avoidance of social interaction.

They further showed that this gene, which is also implicated in many cases of human autism, appears to produce autistic behavior by interfering with communication between brain cells. The finding, reported in the March 20 online edition of Nature, could help researchers find new pathways for developing drugs to treat autism, says senior author Guoping Feng, professor of brain and cognitive sciences and member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT.

About one in 110 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, which can range in severity and symptoms but usually includes difficulties with language in addition to social avoidance and repetitive behavior. There are currently no effective drugs to treat autism, but the new finding could help uncover new drug targets, Feng says.

Read the Rest of this Article on Medical News Today.com

Tags: News of the Week Autism Newsletter 25 March 2011