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Genetically Modified Rat is Promising Model for Alzheimer's
Myriam
Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 5:50 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


(Source: NPR) - A rat with some human genes could provide a better way to test Alzheimer's drugs.The genetically modified rat is the first rodent model to exhibit the full range of brain changes found in Alzheimer's.

"It's a big step forward" for drug development, says Roderick Corriveau, "The closer the model is to the human condition in representing the disease, the more likely the drug will behave and cure the way it would in humans."

Once they inserted the mutant genes, the rats began to develop plaques in their brains. These rats also developed so-called tangles in their brain cells, another hallmark of Alzheimer's.

"The big shocker came when we started counting numbers of neurons in their brains," said Terrence Town."It turns out that they lose up to about 30 or 35 percent of the neurons in brain regions that are classically associated with Alzheimer's disease."

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http://www.npr.org