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(p. 267) Stress and Autism Spectrum Disorder 

(p. 267) Stress and Autism Spectrum Disorder
(p. 267) Stress and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Richard McCarty

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date: 25 May 2020

Animal models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) seek to capture three of the cardinal symptoms of the disorder in affected children: deficits in social interactions, deficits in communication, and repetitive behaviors. In addition, males are more likely to develop ASD than females. The complex and variable presentation of ASD appears to involve genetic, environmental, and epigenetic contributions. The inbred BTBR mouse strain has frequently been utilized as an animal model of ASD. Other animal models have included a variety of prenatal insults, including maternal immune activation or administration of drugs that affect the developing fetus. A newer line of investigation has examined contributions of the brain-immune-gut axis in the development of symptoms of ASD in laboratory mice. Finally, the polarity change of GABAergic neurons in the cerebral cortex from excitatory to inhibitory at birth appears to be connected to the surge in oxytocin, and this key developmental process may be disrupted in children with ASD and in animal models of ASD.

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