A Case Study of Memory Loss in Mice
Department of Biological Sciences
University at Buffalo
This discussion case explores the scientific process involved in implementing an animal model in the study of Alzheimer’s disease. Students read a short paragraph describing a study in which the brains of “trained” mice were injected with beta-amyloid fragments, which subsequently caused them to forget their tasks. The paragraph is a very short New York Times story reporting on an experimental study originally published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Based on the short description provided, students are asked to identify relevant components of the scientific method (problem, method, results, and conclusions). The case is suitable for a wide variety of science majors and non-majors courses.
- To demonstrate the scientific method in action.
- To explore the workings of the nervous system in health and disease, with specific attention given to the degenerative disorder, Alzheimer’s disease.
- To understand that important advances in human disease research often rely on carefully crafted and implemented animal model systems.
KeywordsAlzheimer’s disease; alzheimers; nervous system; animal model systems; preclinical animal studies; Food and Drug Administration; FDA; beta-amyloid; memory loss; experimental design
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) Science (General) Medicine (General) Neuroscience
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