University of California, Irvine biologists have developed a new genetically engineered mouse model that, unlike its predecessors, is based on the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The advance holds promise for making new strides against the neurodegenerative disease as cases continue to soar. Their study appears in the journal, Nature Communications.
While over 170 Alzheimer’s mouse models have been in use since the 1990s, those models mimic early-onset AD, also known as “familial AD,” which accounts for less than 5 percent of total AD cases. Until recently, scientists introduced mutations found in familial risk human genes, such as and presenilin 1, into the mouse genome to generate the mouse models. The UCI team decided to take a new approach by developing a mouse model better positioned to analyze the causes of late-onset AD. Also called “sporadic AD,” this new model encompasses the remaining 95 percent of cases.
Professor Frank LaFerla is the study’s co-senior author, the Dean of the UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences, and a Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. He is the Director of the NIH-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and Co-Director of the NIH consortium called MODEL-AD. He joins us today to talk about his findings.
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