Scientists have observed how to study autism

International group of investigators and medical doctors from International Stress and Behavior Society (ISBS) have summarized all the knowledge about Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and have made recommendations how to study these disorders and which animals can be used in the disease modeling.

Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are highly prevalent and severely debilitating brain illnesses caused by aberrant brain growth and development. Resulting in cognitive, social, motor, language and affective disabilities, common NDDs include autism spectrum disorder. Their development is influenced by many factors: environmental, genetic and epigenetic. Due to technical and ethical issues it is difficult to study brain diseases on people, so it is common to model similar pathological conditions in animals. In this work scientists show how preclinical models (animal models) can help to study autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and find new ways to treat them.

“We summarized what and when can be considered as a successful model and how to use them. Also we highlighted why it is important to study these disorders on animals. We reviewed rodent, chicken and fish models. Due to the new genetic and biochemical methods, research possibilities are expanding now. So translational models can be very different,“ – told one of the authors, Skoltech professor and Director of the Institute of Translational Biomedicine SPbSU Raul Gainetdinov.

Results of the study were published in prestigious journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.

* The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is a private graduate research university in Skolkovo, Russia, a suburb of Moscow. Established in 2011 in collaboration with MIT, Skoltech educates global leaders in innovation, advances scientific knowledge, and fosters new technologies to address critical issues facing Russia and the world. Applying international research and educational models, the university integrates the best Russian scientific traditions with twenty-first century entrepreneurship and innovation.

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