Mice with mohawks--a new link to autism

By Amanda Stewart,

Researchers studying a genetic mutation linked to autism recently saw mice with mohawks. Yes, mohawks.

This study was published in the journal Nature.

The mohawks, according to NBC News, were a result of excessive grooming. The mice were licking each other’s fur in the same direction repeatedly, making the mohawks.

This behavior of repetitive motion is displayed by some people with autism. These experiments have revealed a link between the genetic causes of autism and the effect on the brain.

These findings could lead to a potential treatment for the disorder.

Autism is defined as a spectrum of developmental disorders that includes both social impairments as well as communication deficits. Autism is also commonly characterized by repetitive motions like rocking or hand flapping.

The mice groomed one another and all of them that had this genetic mutation linked to autism groomed each other's hair in the same way.

The overgrooming, according to RedOrbit, has always been a telltale sign in experiments. The behavior has already been linked to the behavior that stops children from developing normal social behavior.

Researchers plan to further study how the production of proteins affects the brain in this way.

Their ultimate goal is to potentially create a therapy for those with autism and be able to treat the disease to rebalance biological systems.



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