Research NewsNeurobiology

New 'Alzheimer's Mouse' Produced

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Science  11 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5285, pp. 177-178
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5285.177


Alzheimer's researchers have long wanted a realistic animal model of the disease, and last week's announcement in Science of a new, genetically engineered strain of mice that suffers both brain degeneration and memory deficits brought them a big step closer to that goal. The new mouse strain develops the same brain deposits of a protein called amyloid that are seen in human sufferers, and it should allow researchers to test the controversial idea that the amyloid deposition actually causes the brain changes that lead to memory loss. Already the mouse's developers have found that the animals have a biochemical abnormality that may be crucial to amyloid deposition--an increase in a particular “sticky” amyloid fragment.