Desmond Bellamy, PETA
At a recent scientific conference, not one but three pharmaceutical companies announced the stunning failures of experimental Alzheimer’s drugs that had been tested successfully in mice, who have to be genetically engineered to develop a pseudo-Alzheimer’s condition. The compounds—known as BACE inhibitors—actually appeared to hurt patients, by worsening their cognitive abilities and causing brain shrinkage.
The jounal Nature described this growing list of treatment disappointments: ‘Drug companies have spent billions of dollars searching for therapies to reverse or significantly slow Alzheimer’s disease, to no avail.’
As one molecular biologist put it, ‘The biggest mistake you can make is to think you can ever have a mouse with Alzheimer’s disease.’
For the sake of humans and other animals, experimenters must adopt superior, non-animal research methods that are actually relevant to human physiology. For example, a just-published landmark study using cells from human brains has provided new insight into how Alzheimer’s develops, and may lead to effective treatments.
When charities ask you for your contribution, ask if they test on animals. If they do, find a better cause.