Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases affect millions of people. These disorders are age-dependent, progressive and, at present, incurable. A practical and relevant model is needed to investigate the molecular determinants of these debilitating diseases. Mammalian models are often prohibitively expensive, time-consuming and very complex. Given the highly conserved neurological pathways between mammals and invertebrates, Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a powerful tool for the investigation of the pathophysiology of these disorders. We describe recent findings in this area and show how C. elegans is being used to broaden our knowledge of human neurodegenerative diseases.
© The Authors Journal compilation © 2010 Biochemical Society