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Lancet Neurol. 2011 Dec;10(12):1108-18. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(11)70227-7.

Modelling of Parkinson's disease in mice.

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Department of Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, USA.


Although progress has been made in the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's disease since the discovery of L-dopa in the 1960s, no neuroprotective therapy is yet available. Absence of adequate animal models of the disease that enable prediction of clinical success of potential treatments is often cited as a major impediment to progress and discourages researchers and pharmaceutical companies from investing resources to develop such treatments. Classic models are still widely used, but have been disappointing, and development of genetic models has given new hope. However, can a human disease be faithfully reproduced in a mouse? In this Review we summarise evidence that some genetic mouse models do reproduce key features of Parkinson's disease and show that much can be learned from even imperfect models. The hope is that this information could be used to advance the search for neuroprotective therapies for Parkinson's disease.

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