Introduction

Animal models do not now exist that recapitulate all of the behavioral, physiological, and biochemical facets of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the last dozen years, transgenic mouse models have been developed that display many of the hallmark neuropathological structures as well as some of the behavioral consequences predicted by the Amyloid Hypothesis. They have been useful for testing hypotheses for root causes, defining interactions, and in investigating therapeutic strategies for this most prevalent chronic neurodegenerative condition. A brief description of AD is provided that points out the key features of the disease and the evolution of the models that have been used to probe mechanisms and to search for therapeutics. Rationales for development of different kinds of disease models and the limits of their utility are explained. The bulk of the chapter summarizes models that have been the most thoroughly investigated or that have made seminal contributions to the understanding of AD. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of AD animal models, and the authors apologize to those investigators whose work or animals were not included due to limits on scope.

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