Researchers at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra have developed, in collaboration with American researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a new animal model to study autism, it was announced today.
The work was recently published in the journal Nature Communications, funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology, the Bial Foundation, the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (US) and supported by the European project "Marie Curie".
The autism spectrum is a neurological disorder usually caused by mutations of different genes, which result in distinct forms of the disease, characterized by stereotypies (repetitive actions), changes in language and social behaviors.
"However, there are some changes common to various forms of autism, such as modifications at the level of metabotropic glutamate receptors, a specific set of receptors of neurons," explains the University of Coimbra (UC), in a note released today.
It is in the study of these receivers that the work of the team of the Center for Neurosciences and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra (CNC-UC) reached a "relevant" advance.