Monkey develops AUTISM symptoms in world first as it’s given antidepressants

A THREE-YEAR-OLD monkey spends its time circling in its cage rather than playing with its peers — and is believed to have autism

Cynomolgus Monkey


Scientists tweaked the DNA of the monkey when it was just a pinprick-sized embryo.

In doing so, they created a mutation in SHANK3 — a gene linked to autism.

When treated with antidepressants, the monkey’s strange behaviours are reduced and it is more sociable.
He said: “Our main goal is to test and validate drugs.

“If a drug works in monkeys, then it would be a good argument to try it in humans.”

cynomolgus monkeys

The mutant monkey was given the antidepressant fluoxetine — known by the brand name Prozac — for two weeks.

During this time, the monkey circled its cage 86% less overall and socialised for 15 times longer than before.





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