A Good Day for Mice with Alzheimer’s Disease

Artist's Rendering of an elderly mouse afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have recently stumbled upon a drug that can stop and reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. With some luck these results will one day translate to a much happier quality of life for elderly mice everywhere. Alzheimer’s has become a serious issue in the two- to three-year-old mice population, with most afflicted mice losing the ability to keep track of time and/or tell apart their relatives. In particularly bad cases, a mouse afflicted with Alzheimer’s might freely defecate right there in the cardboard box in front of all the other mice, and have no idea he’d just done something inappropriate. Then, that same mouse, forgetting he’s in a box, might spend a whole ten minutes looking for a way out when there clearly never was and never will be a way out unless a scientist reaches in and picks him up. And when he’s tired from his fruitless escape attempt the afflicted mouse might casually eat some of the provided cheese in the dish, even though all the other mice had already put their dirty mouths on it. He won’t care. Yes, Alzheimer’s is a very serious disease for elderly mice and so this is a very big day!

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