Washington: Scientists have identified a potential novel treatment strategy for the social impairment of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), an aspect of the condition that has a profound impact on quality of life. The study has been conducted by Eastern Virginia Medical School researchers. "Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders are either disinterested in social interactions or find them unpleasant. They often don``t understand what other people are thinking or feeling and misinterpret social cues," said Stephen I. Deutsch, the Ann Robinson Chair and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. "Sadly, persons with autism spectrum disorders are often painfully aware of their limited sociability, which can lead to profound feelings of sadness and frustration." As part of their research, scientists verified that a specific mouse strain, known as the BALB/c mouse, is a valid animal model of the limited sociability seen in persons with ASD. In the presence of another mouse, BALB/c mice move as far away as possible and do not interact as normal mice do — just like people with autism often avoid making social contact with other people.
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