Animal models of Parkinson’s disease progression
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- Meredith, G.E., Sonsalla, P.K. & Chesselet, M. Acta Neuropathol (2008) 115: 385. doi:10.1007/s00401-008-0350-x
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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder whose etiology is not understood. This disease occurs both sporadically and through inheritance of single genes, although the familial types are rare. Over the past decade or so, experimental and clinical data suggest that PD could be a multifactorial, neurodegenerative disease that involves strong interactions between the environment and genetic predisposition. Our understanding of the pathophysiology and motor deficits of the disease relies heavily on fundamental research on animal models and the last few years have seen an explosion of toxin-, inflammation-induced and genetically manipulated models. The insight gained from the use of such models has strongly advanced our understanding of the progression and stages of the disease. The models have also aided the development of novel therapies to improve symptomatic management, and they are critical for the development of neuroprotective strategies. This review critically evaluates these in vivo models and the roles they play in mimicking the progression of PD.