Advances in our understanding of the genetics of Parkinson's disease (PD) have led to the generation of an array of pre-clinical models that mimic various hallmarks of the disease. Characterization of these models provides insight into disease pathogenesis and critically informs experimental design and interpretation of results. However, available characterization data are often difficult and time-consuming to track, creating a barrier to effective and efficient research.
This project aims to accelerate PD research by creating an open access resource of scientific information related to pre-clinical models of PD. This resource, made available through the website Alzforum.org, will facilitate research by gathering expertly characterization data in an interactive, intuitive and visual manner that enables rapid exploration of models and comparisons between them. The site will also provide a forum for scientists to share information.
High priority pre-clinical models of PD, including those with genetic modifications in LRRK2, SNCA, PINK1 and parkin, will be researched using primary literature, reviews and other sources, including researchers who created or use the models. These data will be distilled into summaries describing the development and progression of neuropathology and behavioral impairments of each model, with emphasis on core PD-associated characteristics, including neuronal loss, dopamine deficiency and motor impairment.
Impact on diagnosis/treatment of Parkinson's disease:
This resource will fill a critical information gap by helping researchers find and digest the information they need to better understand available models, compare them and identify those that are best suited for their studies.
Next Steps for Development:
The long-term goal of this resource is to accelerate the investigation of therapeutic targets to improve the translation of pre-clinical research findings.