Monday, March 21, 2016

Understanding Autism Through Monkey

Autism is much less known to everyone. It can be characterized by being a mental condition where individuals face difficulty in communicating, forming relationships with others, using language and comprehending abstract concepts. The symptoms of autism are known to appear in early childhood. A group of scientists in China have genetically engineered monkeys so that they exhibit behaviors similar to autism. The goal is to test potential therapies on the animals in hopes that their resemblance to humans will yield more answers about the disorder. The scientists found that the monkeys display very similar behaviors related to human autism patients. Which include repetitive behaviors, increased anxiety and, most importantly, defects in social interactions. The team is now examining the brains of the monkeys. They are trying to identify the deficiency in the brain circuits that is responsible for the autism-like behavior. This article was interesting because this research involves primates instead of rats to understand autism. If this research is carried out successfully, then it will be a big breakthrough for understanding autism in human.  


  1. I think this is really important work this group of scientists are doing. It is beneficial to use monkeys in the experimen because they are more closely related to us than rats and may offer greater insight in how to combat the disease. My good friend has an autistic daughter and she does her absolute best to hire a variety of therapists. However, she feels like she is not making progress and fears her daughter will never have normal social interaction in the future. Autism is a relatively prevalent disorder and I hope this study along with many others researching this disorder find a treatment or cure soon.

  2. Really hope the latest model-"mini Brains" can replace the animals used in such researches soon. It's said then new models are working on autism at present. Once it's proved successful. It will be much easier for the related drug discovery and development.