ALS mouse model
John Crow, Ph.D.
6/9/2008 1:54:24 PM
Sean Scott's statement that labs in academia lack the expertise to work with this model or that animal care is somehow substandard is incorrect. If anything, the standards that academic labs must live up to are higher than his so-called industry labs. Also, the results from ALS-TDF labs have historically shown the highest variability.
The "problem" with the ALS mouse model is more in how it has been used than in the model itself. It is absurd to expect that presymptomatic treatment in mice will ever be predictive of symptomatic treatment in humans. All of the frustrations of 15 years of failure in the ALS field are being directed at the mouse model, which has been terribly misused. To abandon this model for new models that we know even less about would be a tragic mistake.
Let's wait for the results of human trials based on symptomatic mouse studies before jumping to such grandiose conclusions. The recent study by Fornai et al. with lithium argues strongly that the mouse model, when used properly, is predictive.