Scientists reproduced autism monkey

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Researchers are on their toes to discover more about autism for possible treatment and cure. The former mouse like autism didn’t reproduce autism behavior and could not be understudy, thus the new research was welcomed as the monkey reproduced have autism behavior with the duplication of MECP2 gene resulting into MDS which is usually observed in humans male autism. The absence of the gene which is X -linked is responsible for Rett syndrome in girls and girls are not affected with MDS. The symptoms of MDS include intellectual disability, infantile hypotonia preceeded by progressive lower limb spasticity, seizures, respiratory infections, and autism.

Speaking about the study, the lead author Dr Qui explained his motive which ” led to pursue a primate model, with the expectation that the more complex brain and more human-like social behavioral repertoire might better reproduce the core features of autism, namely impaired social interactions, stereotypies, and anxiety,” reported Robinson Richard of Neurology Today. Dr. Qui ”injected mature oocytes of cynomolgus monkeys with lentivirus containing the human MECP2 gene under control of the synapsin promoter, a neuron-specific driver of gene expression. The oocytes were fertilized by intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and implanted into surrogate monkeys, leading to the birth of three male and eight female monkeys,” says Robinson.

Reacting to this new development,Dr. Raj Kopa said the study was potentially important as it would allow researchers to examine changes in brain connectivity that underlie autistic behaviors .“We have no idea how the brain circuits are changed” noting that they always had issues using children with autism for studies as it requires long stay in the scanner. He hopes the monkey will be used in this regard thereby leading to more insight on the changes that normally occur in the brain of autism people.
Another researcher, Dr Zoghb said the research has potential value of a truer primate model ” which will be useful ‘to study the long-term consequences of MECP2 over expression in a large brain, something that cannot be done in the mouse. “This could be valuable for testing therapies,” she said.

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