The need to incorporate aged animals into the preclinical modeling of neurological conditions Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease are serious clinical problems that affect millions of people worldwide. The majority of clinical trials for these common conditions have failed, and there is a critical need to understand why treatments in preclinical animal models do not translate to patients. Many patients with these conditions are middle-aged or older, however, the majority of preclinical studies have used only young-adult animals. Considering that aging involves biological changes that are relevant to the pathobiology of neurological diseases, the lack of aged subjects in preclinical research could contribute to translational failures. This paper details how aging affects biological processes involved in neurological conditions, and reviews aging research in the context of traumatic brain injury, stroke, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. We conclude that aging is an important, but often overlooked, factor that influences biology and outcomes in neurological conditions, and provide suggestions to improve our understanding and treatment of these diseases in aged patients.

publication date

  • 2020