A large number of children, who suffer from autism have difficulty falling asleep. Their state of being awake, even when they are tired, makes the symptoms worse which led the experts understand the ink between autism spectrum and sleep irregularities.
Researches and tests done on male mice, with DNA deletion were found to be suffering from similar sleep irregularities.
However, when a similar test was conducted on female mice, it was found to incur starkly different results. Additionally, all the mice on genetic mutation showed the tendency to be hyperactive.
According to professor Ted Abel from the University of Pennsylvania, treatments done on mice could hold the key to address sleep issues among autistic children. He believes that mice could help in decoding the clues behind understanding why male and female mice react differently to DNA deletion.
Genetic autism, often shows a missing chromosome called p11.2 in the chromosome 16. This delation causes developmental delays and intellectual growth; it is also found to a be cause among 1% of the people affected by ASD.
Researchers have successfully engineered three strains of mice that carry deletion chromosome 16.p11.2 with slight variations. However, all the three staring showed signs of hyperactivity.
A cage with infrared sensors was used while testing the mice to account for their motion around the clock. It was observed that both genders of mice showed signs of activity at night.
The researchers further inserted electrodes in the brains of the mice to understand their sleep duration and also the quality.
It was found that instead of having poor sleeping patterns the mice showed a longer period of wakefulness. The fame mice, however, showed usual sleeping habits confirming the fact that male mice have more severe symptoms.
It now seems possible after this research that the mice model can be used to address the sleep pattern and find treatment for autism caused by the chromosome deletion.