Podcast: An ode to rats as animal models for autism
On this week’s podcast, a study led by Elizabeth Berg in the lab of Dr. Jill Silverman at UC Davis published in the journal Autism Research demonstrated SHANK3’s role in core social communication deficits in a rat model of autism. Rats exhibit both receptive and expressive communication. SHANK3 mutations are seen in those with Phelan-McDermid Syndrome as well as in 1% of people with autism. This new study opens up new ways to understand autism symptoms in an animal model, and moves autism research using animals forward significantly.