Presentation Title

Measuring Anxiety in Mice with Fragile X Syndrome

Advisor Information

Paul Davis

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 1:45 PM

Abstract

The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen 78% in the last 10 years, and it is estimated that 1 in 88 children in the United States have some form of autism spectrum disorder. The dominant genetic cause of autism is fragile X syndrome which accounts for about 5% of autism diagnoses. Fragile X syndrome is caused by a mutation of the gene fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) on the X chromosome. Individuals with fragile X syndrome exhibit a continuum of learning disabilities and short-term memory and visual memory impairments. Additional effects include an increased seizure risk and obsessive-type symptoms like those of OCD. In the majority of male and 30% of female cases of fragile X syndrome, ADHD also occurs. Anxiety, largely social anxiety, causes significant disturbance in daily functioning including difficulty forming peer relations which is the symptom for which we tested. Using mice and mice that have had the fragile X gene knocked out, we were able to measure levels of anxiety with the marble burying test. Each mouse was placed in a cage with 15 marbles, and after 30 minutes the percentage that each marble was buried was recorded. Mice that have higher anxiety bury more marbles. By this measure, one is able to determine differences in anxiety between mice with and without fragile X syndrome. Quantifying anxiety levels in fragile X syndrome mice will be a baseline by which to compare possible treatments first in mice, and then hopefully in humans.

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Mar 8th, 1:30 PM Mar 8th, 1:45 PM

Measuring Anxiety in Mice with Fragile X Syndrome

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen 78% in the last 10 years, and it is estimated that 1 in 88 children in the United States have some form of autism spectrum disorder. The dominant genetic cause of autism is fragile X syndrome which accounts for about 5% of autism diagnoses. Fragile X syndrome is caused by a mutation of the gene fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) on the X chromosome. Individuals with fragile X syndrome exhibit a continuum of learning disabilities and short-term memory and visual memory impairments. Additional effects include an increased seizure risk and obsessive-type symptoms like those of OCD. In the majority of male and 30% of female cases of fragile X syndrome, ADHD also occurs. Anxiety, largely social anxiety, causes significant disturbance in daily functioning including difficulty forming peer relations which is the symptom for which we tested. Using mice and mice that have had the fragile X gene knocked out, we were able to measure levels of anxiety with the marble burying test. Each mouse was placed in a cage with 15 marbles, and after 30 minutes the percentage that each marble was buried was recorded. Mice that have higher anxiety bury more marbles. By this measure, one is able to determine differences in anxiety between mice with and without fragile X syndrome. Quantifying anxiety levels in fragile X syndrome mice will be a baseline by which to compare possible treatments first in mice, and then hopefully in humans.