Understanding and treating neurodegeneration: insights from the flies
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- Lu, B. AGE (2005) 27: 225. doi:10.1007/s11357-005-2917-y
Drosophila has recently emerged as a model system for studying mechanisms of neurodegeneration. Genetic models for most of the major neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), polyglutamine diseases, and tauopathies, have been successfully established. Pharmacological models of some of these diseases have also been created. Genetic modifier screens using these models have uncovered previously implicated mechanisms and molecules as well as novel ones. Fly models have turned out to be excellent system for the in vivo testing of therapeutic potentials of candidate compounds. It is anticipated that further exploration of the fly models will not only provide novel insights into mechanisms of neurodegeneration but also lead to the development of rational treatment of those debilitating degenerative diseases.