Autism spectrum disorder is a debilitating mental illness and social issue. Autism spectrum disorder patients suffer from social isolation, cognitive deficits, compulsive behavior, and sensory deficits, including hyposensitivity to pain. However, recent studies argued that autism spectrum disorder patients show physiological pain response and, in some cases, even extremely intense pain response to harmless stimulation. Recently, Shank gene family was reported as one of the genetic risk factors of autism spectrum disorder. Thus, in this study, we used Shank2(-) (/) (-) (Shank2 knock-out, KO) mice to investigate the controversial pain sensitivity issue and found that Shank2 KO mice showed reduced tactile perception and analgesia to chronic pain.
Keywords: Autism; nociception; pain; shank2.
© The Author(s) 2016.