Mouse models of neurodegenerative disease: preclinical imaging and neurovascular component

Sandra Albanese, Adelaide Greco, Luigi Auletta, Marcello Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neurodegenerative diseases represent great challenges for basic science and clinical medicine because of their prevalence, pathologies, lack of mechanism-based treatments, and impacts on individuals. Translational research might contribute to the study of neurodegenerative diseases. The mouse has become a key model for studying disease mechanisms that might recapitulate in part some aspects of the corresponding human diseases. Neurodegenerative disorders are very complicated and multifactorial. This has to be taken in account when testing drugs. Most of the drugs screening in mice are very difficult to be interpretated and often useless. Mouse models could be condiderated a 'pathway models', rather than as models for the whole complicated construct that makes a human disease. Non-invasive in vivo imaging in mice has gained increasing interest in preclinical research in the last years thanks to the availability of high-resolution single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), positron emission tomography (PET), high field Magnetic resonance, Optical Imaging scanners and of highly specific contrast agents. Behavioral test are useful tool to characterize different animal models of neurodegenerative pathology. Furthermore, many authors have observed vascular pathological features associated to the different neurodegenerative disorders. Aim of this review is to focus on the different existing animal models of neurodegenerative disorders, describe behavioral tests and preclinical imaging techniques used for diagnose and describe the vascular pathological features associated to these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Oct 26 2017


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