Saturday, December 11, 2010

Autism Breakthrough? D-Cycloserine Treatment For Impaired Sociability

Scientific Blogging Science 2.0
News Staff
December 8, 2010
2:20 a.m.

The social impairment of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can have a profound impact on quality of life.

As part of their research, Eastern Virginia Medical School scientists say they have verified that a specific mouse strain, known as the BALB/c mouse, is a valid animal model of the limited sociability seen in persons with Autism. In the presence of another mouse, BALB/c mice move as far away as possible and do not interact as normal mice do, they say in much the same way people with autism often avoid making social contact with other people.

This finding gave them a way to test whether an existing medication can alter the function of certain receptors in the brain known to affect sociability and help the animals be more at ease around others. The medication used was D-Cycloserine, originally developed to treat tuberculosis, but previous studies showed that it also might change social behavior. In preliminary studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School, the medication appeared to resolve the Balb/c mouse's deficits of sociability - BALB/c mice treated with the medication behaved as a normal mouse would when placed near another.

Read more HERE.

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