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New Mice for the Job

Resilience-Alzheimer's Disease Consortium researchers have developed a new mouse model with greater genetic diversity to study Alzheimer's disease, according to the US National Institutes of Health, which funded the work. In this way, it says the mice will better mirror the complexity of the disease in people and inform precision medicine studies.

As they report in Neuron this week, researchers led by the Jackson Laboratory's Catherine Kaczorowski developed first transgenic mouse reference panel, which they dubbed AD-BXDs, for Alzheimer's disease. This panel combines an established mouse model of familial Alzheimer's disease that has an inbred background with a set of genetically diverse mice.

These AD-BXDs, the researchers report, better captures the genetic diversity of Alzheimer's disease patients. With it, they say, researchers may be better able to uncover subtypes of the disease and develop more personalized treatments.

"The ability to model genetic diversity and its impact on multiple aspects of disease risk and resilience in transgenic mice in a robust and reproducible way will enable the research community to learn a lot more about the complex nature of Alzheimer's a lot faster," Suzana Petanceska, who oversees the Resilience-AD program at the National Institute on Aging, says in a statement.