Modeling Chronic Neurodegenerative Diseases

The issue in chronic neurodegenerative disease of onset in mid to late life and lasting from 5 to 25 years from onset to death is modeling the various stages of disease. Most information on AD and other similar chronic neuro-degenerative disorders is gathered from postmortem data at the very end stages of disease when many other factors have intervened, most notably the process of dying. Thus, much information on apoptosis in AD has been gathered, but mostly from the endpoints of the disease process. It is of crucial importance to model the beginning of AD pathology and, particularly, the probable subclinical pathology that exists in persons at genetic and/or environmental risk even at a very early age. The way to circumvent this problem is the creation of in vitro and in vivo models of AD pathology in animals or human-derived tissue and, particularly with the discovery of specific genes for AD, to create genetic models of AD.

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