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Biomarkers and social deficits in ASD

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex disorder of brain development characterized by social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior. Current prevalence is estimated to 1 in 68 children, and 1 in 42 boys. Our team previously demonstrated the crucial role of the hypothalamus nuclei in social motivation and its disorders. OT is a neuropeptide implicated in social interactions. Neural circuits contributing to the social brain are more and more investigated, and many molecular actors (vasopressin, dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, gonadal hormones…) functionally interconnect with OT-signaling network.

The scope of the project consists in measuring blood concentrations of OT, AVP, dopamine and serotonin in people with ASD and neurotypical controls. A series of tasks that characterized social performance would permit to evaluate the social atypicalities in the ASD group.

The aims will be:

  1. to analyze the relationship between plasma assays and autistic performance.
  2. To determine if some variations exist in the plasmatic levels of the target analytes between the two experimental groups
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