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Open Access Animal Models for Motor Neuron Disease

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Motor neuron disease is a general term applied to a broad class of neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by fatally progressive muscular weakness, atrophy, and paralysis attributable to loss of motor neurons. At present, there is no cure for most motor neuron diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common human motor neuron disease—the cause of which remains largely unknown. Animal models of motor neuron disease (MND) have significantly contributed to the remarkable recent progress in understanding the cause, genetic factors, and pathologic mechanisms proposed for this class of human neurodegenerative disorders. Largely driven by ALS research, animal models of MND have proven their usefulness in elucidating potential causes and specific pathogenic mechanisms, and have helped to advance promising new treatments from “benchside to bedside.” This review summarizes important features of selected established animal models of MND: genetically engineered mice and inherited or spontaneously occurring MND in the murine, canine, and equine species.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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