Diagnosis and Mice

Did you see this fabulous new study reported in the Guardian ? What should the critical diagnosis scholar think? It reminds her of a previous article about bees and dementia.

It’s fabulous food for thought, and here are some questions it raises for her.

  • What diagnoses do we prioritise for attention at what times and in what settings? The “rise” of autism is a fascinating social issue, as is the way in which it has replaced other diagnoses previously used to describe the range of conditions the term “autism” captures.
  • Of course, we could talk about DSM until the cows come home, given its influence on how we label, understand, and approach “mental” health disorders, but let’s talk about mice instead
  • Or, before we talk about mice, let’s talk about paradigms. Once we get a paradigm for understanding something, it’s hard to think of another way. Should we think about autism in biophysical terms, looking for places in the brain which explain autistic behaviour? In genetic terms? In terms of the microbiome? So many ways, each revealing different expressions! How to reconcile them all?!
  • Oh, and mice. How in the world is it possible to say that mice have autism? According to the article, they have the “hallmarks” of autism (less sociable, less vocal and developed repetitive behaviours). I guess what is more interesting is that they had different reactions from implantations of other people.

What points does it raise for you?

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