Animal models of adult-onset neurodegenerative diseases have enhanced the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nevertheless, our understanding of these disorders and the development of mechanistically designed therapeutics can still benefit from more rigorous use of the models and from generation of animals that more faithfully recapitulate human disease. Here we review the current state of rodent models for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We discuss the limitations and utility of current models, issues regarding translatability, and future directions for developing animal models of these human disorders.
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