Some animal models, genetically modified (such as murine) and sporadic (as others species), enable the study of the origin of specific lesions observed in human neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, Alzheimer's disease (AD) models have been designed to test the hypothesis that certain lesions are associated with functional and morphological changes beginning with memory loss and impairment in activities of daily life. This review compares and evaluates the phenotypes of different AD animal models, on the basis of the specific objectives of each study, with the purpose of encompassing their contributions to the comprehension of the AD signs and symptoms in humans. All these models contribute to the comprehension of the human AD mechanisms regarding the heterogeneity of AD phenotypes: the overlap between AD and age‐related changes, the variability of AD onset (early or late), the probable reactiveness of amyloid‐β and tau proteins, the scarcity of senile plaques and/or neurofibrillary tangles in some AD cases, the spatial correlation of the pathology and cerebral blood vessels, and the immunological responses (microglial aging) and synaptopathy. Altogether, these considerations may contribute to find therapies to treat and prevent this disease.
Part of the book: Update on Dementia