Scientists successfully reversed autistic behaviors in mice missing the Shank3 gene, an important risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The Shank3 mutation can disrupt communication between neurons.
They found they were able to restore normal behavior by "inhibiting the chemical reaction caused by that gene loss". They could also prove that the disruption is caused by the dysregulation of actin filaments in the brain’s prefrontal cortex.
"Our results suggest a promising therapeutic strategy for treating autism," Zhen Yan, PhD, a professor at the University of Buffalo School of Medicine said. About 84 percent of people with a Shank3 genetic mutation have an autism spectrum disorder.