Publication Date

May 2013

Advisor(s)

Janice Naegele

Major

Neuroscience and Behavior

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of pervasive developmental brain disorders characterized by three hallmark symptoms: deficits in sociability, difficulties with communication, and restricted, stereotyped, and repetitive patterns of behavior. The prevalence of ASD diagnoses increases each year. Now more than ever, more effective treatments are needed. Recent research has shown that a highly restrictive, 6:1 ketogenic diet (fat: carbohydrate + protein composition) significantly alleviates the three core symptoms of autism in the BTBR T+ tf/J (BTBR) mouse model of autism (Masino et al. 2012). Although these findings are promising, implementing this stringent diet in the ASD clinical population could be quite challenging. The purpose of this current study was to evaluate whether a less stringent diet comprised of a 3.2:1 (fat: carbohydrate + protein) ratio significantly reduces behavioral symptoms of autism in BTBR T+ tf/J mice.

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