Study Confirms Serotonin's Link to Autism

by VR Sreeraman on  February 26, 2011 at 8:27 PM Research News
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A new study has suggested that serotonin plays a vital role in autism spectrum disorders.
 Study Confirms Serotonin's Link to Autism
Study Confirms Serotonin's Link to Autism

In labs at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, scientists are studying strains of mice that inherently mimic the repetitive and socially impaired behaviors present in autism spectrum disorders.

Georgianna Gould, research assistant professor of physiology in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and colleagues have shown that a medication called buspirone improved the social behaviors of mice.

Some genetic variations result in diminished transmission of serotonin between neurons. Buspirone increased transmission by partially mimicking the effects of serotonin at cellular sites called receptors.

Social interaction behaviors of the mice were measured by placing them in a three-chamber social interaction test and positioning a 'stranger' mouse in one of the chambers.

Buspirone-treated mice spent more time in the chamber with the stranger mouse than untreated mice and more time sniffing the stranger.

"No animal model is completely characteristic of humans, and we're far from saying that buspirone is a treatment for behaviors of autistic people. But this does offer further proof that serotonin is involved in a significant proportion of autism cases," said Gould.

The new findings appeared in the Journal of Neurochemistry.

Source: ANI

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Elaine49 Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Granddaughter has Rett Syndrome, when she is at rest , sleepy or on awakening the hand mouthing that she does continuously throughout the day is not carried out. She lies relaxed sometimes with her hands above her head and she vocalises. This semi- sleeping relaxed state in my opinion has some significance just not sure what it means? She almost looks as though she did not have Rett syndrome,until she is fully awake then it all starts again.

gale19 Sunday, February 27, 2011

First of all the study "suggests" but does not "confirm" anything. Also the suggestion is based on weak correlative values. Secondly, if you are reporting about a link between two things, then I think both things need to be mentioned. Serotonin is mentioned but not autism. Were the mice autistic and did not socialize before the buspirone? The article discusses serotonin at length and describes what it does for the nerves in the brain, but what does that mean for autism? Where is the "confirmation" that serotonin is linked to anything but increased interest in strangers or maybe a certain hypervigilance around newcomers. I don't get why this is does that mean that the

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