Silver stained “senile plaque” formation in cortex.
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Neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by loss of structural integrity in neurons and, in some disorders, the accumulation of certain proteins. Cohen and colleagues (J Neurosci 33:6245, 2013) developed a novel rat transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease that recapitulates many important age-dependent characteristics of the disease including indications of declining memory function. We are assessing learning and memory, sleep patterns, anxiety levels, and in vivo and in-vitro regional rates of cerebral protein synthesis in this model as the animals age. We anticipate that changes in rates of protein synthesis in the brain may mark the onset of the degenerative process. If so, this measurement could have clinical utility.