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A Brand New Animal Model for Alzheimer's Studies

An animal model expresses the two biological characteristics of Alzheimer's disease, providing new opportunities for simpler drug testing and diagnosis.

Published on 14 December 2017


The biological characteristics of Alzheimer's appear at least twenty years before its symptoms become observable (memory loss, etc.). Understanding this silent phase is a prerequisite for future treatments for patients in which brain damage is still reversible. However, until now, there was not an in vitro or animal model that allowed scientists to study this long period preceding the emergence of cognitive symptoms.

Current animal models express only one of the two degenerations characteristic of the disease—the aggregation of Tau proteins in neurons or the appearance of Aβ42 peptide plaques on their outside.

In collaboration with INSERM, CNRS, and universities Paris-Sud and Paris-Descartes, researchers at the François-Jacob Institute have developed rodent models that exhibit the very early stages of the disease as well as both types of degeneration. This is the first animal model with pathological characteristics comparable to those of human patients.

This work has led to a patent and a press release.

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