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Scientists develop recommendations for studying autism

April 15, 18:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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
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© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 15. /TASS /. Researchers and medics from International Stress and Behavior Society (ISBS) have summarized all the knowledge about Neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. They made recommendations how to study these disorders and which animals can be used in the disease modeling, the Skoltech press service said on Friday.

"In this work scientists show how preclinical models (animal models) can help study autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and find new ways to treat them", Skoltech said.

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.

"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," said Skoltech professor Raul Gainetdinov.

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

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