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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2012, Article ID 128356, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/128356
Review Article

Genetic Rat Models of Parkinson's Disease

1Field Neurosciences Institute, Laboratory for Restorative Neurology, Department of Psychology, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, USA
2Field Neurosciences Institute, Laboratory for Restorative Neurology, Program in Neuroscience, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, USA
3Field Neurosciences Institute, Laboratory for Restorative Neurology, Department of Psychology and Program in Neuroscience, College of Medicine, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859, USA
4Field Neurosciences Institute, St. Mary's of Michigan, Saginaw MI 48604, USA

Received 10 December 2011; Accepted 20 January 2012

Academic Editor: Kah-Leong LIM

Copyright © 2012 Ryan M. Welchko et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by a specific loss of dopaminergic neurons. Although the vast majority of PD cases are idiopathic in nature, there is a subset that contains genetic links. Of the genes that have been linked to PD, α-synuclein and leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 have been used to develop transgenic rat models of the disease. In this paper we focused on the various transgenic rat models of PD in terms of their ability to mimic key symptoms of PD in a progressive manner. In general, we found that most of these models provided useful tools for the early stages of PD, but the development of new transgenic rats that present significant neuropathologic and motoric deficits in a progressive manner that more accurately mimics PD is needed.