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A Novel Approach to Discovering Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0460

Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism
Open Access

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Review Article

A Novel Approach to Discovering Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease

Deacon RMJ*

Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Corresponding Author:
Deacon RMJ
Department of Experimental Psychology
University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
Tel: +1-865-271428
Fax: +1-865-310447
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: January 16, 2014; Accepted date: February 24, 2014; Published date: March 15, 2014

Citation: Deacon RMJ (2014) A Novel Approach to Discovering Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis Parkinsonism 4:142. doi:10.4172/2161-0460.1000142

Copyright: © 2014 Deacon RMJ. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


At present, learning and memory tests are widely used in the preclinical search for treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, in most cases these tests do not probe “episodic memory” which is the type most affected in AD. This article describes a different approach to preclinical testing - the use of species-typical tasks. These mirror “activities of daily living,” impairments of which are noticeable in the earliest stages of the illness. These impairments are frequently more of a problem to the patient than the loss of cognitive abilities, and lead to a need for carers or institutionalisation, both of which can be costly. Species-typical tasks do not require food deprivation or aversive stimulation to motivate the animals; they are performed spontaneously. Moreover they are simple and cheap to execute. Thus they model an aspect of the disease more closely, are cost-effective, simpler and ethically sounder than current practices.