What have we Learned about Ageing and Dementia from Mouse Models?

The study of age-related neurobehavioural changes in genetically modified mice is important to understand the basic behavioural changes associated with aging; the neural and genetic mechanisms underlying these changes; and to develop new treatments for age-related disorders. The DBA/2J mouse develops age-related glaucoma and is functionally blind by 12 months of age. We examined three mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and are finding that these mice have age-related visual and motor control problems as well as cognitive decline. Our goals are to dissociate the sensory and motor deficits from deficits in cognitive function and to examine sex and strain differences in the development of age-related disorders. Data will be presented on age-related behavioural deficits in the APPswe/PS1de9, 3X-Tg and 5X FAD mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease. The development of new drugs depends on a complete knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying diseases of aging and the goal of our research is to uncover these mechanisms. Supported by NSERC of Canada.