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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2001 May;2(5):325-34.

Experimental models of Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Neurology, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, 525 East 68th Street, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Research into the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease has been rapidly advanced by the development of animal models. Initial models were developed by using toxins that specifically targeted dopamine neurons, the most successful of which used 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, a toxin that causes parkinsonism in man. More recently, the identification of alpha-synuclein mutations as a rare cause of Parkinson's disease has led to the development of alpha-synuclein transgenic mice and Drosophila. Here, I discuss the merits and limitations of these different animal models in our attempts to understand the physiology of Parkinson's disease and to develop new therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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