Neuroscience INSIGHTS


Alzheimer's Requires Aggressive Funding — and Better Models

More than 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease (AD), the sixth leading cause of death among adults in the US. Aggressive research funding and improved animal models of Alzheimer's disease are urgent priorities. Increasing Alzheimer's Research Funding On July 19, 2017, the House Appropriations Committee approved an additional $400 million for Alzheimer's disease research in the fiscal year 2018 budget. $400 million was also approved...

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Parkinson's Disease Model with Endogenous LRRK2 Regulation

No single Parkinson's Disease (PD) model fully reproduces the complexity of the disease in humans. Developing an assortment of PD models has been essential for furthering our understanding of, and the development of potential treatments for, the disease. Adding to the arsenal of PD rodent models, in conjunction with The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) for Parkinson's Research, a mouse model carrying targeted replacement human LRRK2 G2019S...

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Animal Models of Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

As the opioid crisis continues, every week brings new and alarming developments, legislative attempts to address the epidemic, and new formulations of street drugs which are contaminated, or resistant to naloxone. This has sparked a variety of debates concerning how we can best address the situation. From a public health perspective, however, the need to explore relevant and predictive animal models of addiction and develop novel strategies...

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Accelerating Parkinson's Disease Research Through Strategic Partnerships

The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), established in 2000, is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease (PD) by supporting research agendas toward development of improved therapies for Parkinson's disease patients. Unlike many private research funding institutions that rely on external scientific advisors and boards for how to allocate donor-raised research dollars, the MJFF has an in-house team of trained scientists and project managers that oversee...

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Rodent Alzheimer's Disease Model Supports New Therapies

In late 2016 Biogen reported exciting results for aducanumab, their Phase 1 monoclonal antibody therapy for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Patients who received aducanumab showed significant and dose-dependent reduction of brain Amyloid-β (Aβ) and slowing of disease progression. Pre-clinical studies in the APPSWE/Tg2576 mouse model of AD provided the mechanistic clues, dosing insights, and efficacy data that informed the design of Biogen's successful aducanumab Phase I trial. Now,...

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CNV Psychiatric Disease Models Q&A

Dr. Michael Didriksen, whose work with Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals is bridging preclinical and clinical schizophrenia and psychosis science, presented a webinar focused on the application of three novel psychiatric disease models, all carrying high-risk genetic copy number variations (CNVs). His presentation on the research applications of mice carrying high-risk CNVs generated substantial interest from the neuropsychiatric community. Here are some of the most popular questions we received from...

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Generating EAE Mouse Models of Multiple Sclerosis

Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely-accepted model of demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). How can you most efficiently generate EAE mouse models of multiple sclerosis and which mouse strains work best for this application? Although the exact details are not understood, the immune system is involved in MS pathogenesis. Like MS, EAE is characterized by infiltration of immune cells into the central nervous system...

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Investigating Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Models

Despite tau proteins having essential roles in neurodegeneration and amyloid-mediated neurotoxicity, Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutic development has largely focused on amyloid-beta. Recent investigations, in humans and rodent Alzheimer's Disease models, suggest specific tau species might be major pathological contributors to AD progression and, as such, an even better target than amyloid-beta for effective AD therapies. Tau Proteins in Alzheimer's Disease Monomeric tau proteins are abundant in neurons,...

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Targeting APOE4 for Alzheimer's Disease Therapies

Past research efforts, focused on Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology and the genetics of familial AD, led to the discovery of important AD-related proteins, including amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau. However, efforts to develop AD therapies based on targeting Aβ and tau have largely failed. Years of disappointing trials have brought increasing demand for new AD targets and alternative treatment approaches. Using mice expressing apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4), a human...

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Mother's Diet Influences Alzheimer's Disease Outcomes

Increasingly obesity and its associated comorbidities (cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, etc.) are identified as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Determining the link between diet and Alzheimer's disease has been challenging, in large part due to obesity's association with numerous systemic physiological changes. Recent studies suggest that poor maternal diet can influence epigenetic changes which predispose offspring to the development of metabolic syndromes. Since...

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