Modeling Alzheimer’s Disease

Animal models

Significant insights into Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have occurred through studying genetically modified animals. Animal models have helped advance our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the disease and have rapidly accelerated the preclinical evaluation of potential therapeutic interventions. Continuing refinement and improvements to yield the next generation of animal models will facilitate successes in producing greater concordance between preclinical studies and human clinical trials, and eventually lead to the introduction of novel therapies into clinical practice.

UCI MIND investigators have played and continue to play a major role in this area. For example, the 3xTg-AD mouse model developed at UCI is the first and only one to develop both plaques and tangles. Our triple transgenic mice have been widely used by researchers throughout the world, including over 150 investigators in 20+ countries, showing the worldwide impact of science conducted here at UCI MIND.

ADRC Director, Dr. Frank LaFerla, invented the first animal model of Alzheimer’s disease that develops both plaques and tangles, recapitulating what happens in the human brain.