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Duke Lemur Center
Lemurs aren’t just cute, they’re crucial
Like humans, mouse lemurs develop amyloid brain plaques and other Alzheimer’s-like symptoms as they age. Studying these tiny primates has helped lead to a new hypothesis from the lab of Anne Yoder, a biology professor at Duke University and Director of the Duke Lemur Center, and rethinking how to treat people with diseases like Alzheimer’s. If the lab’s hypothesis holds up, “it could help identify people at risk sooner, before they develop symptoms, or point to new ways to delay onset or slow progression of the disease.”
So the moral of the story is, lemurs aren’t just cute; they’re crucial for research! Because they’re primates, they’re a closer genetic match to humans than mice or rats are — and their unique contributions to science are just one of MANY reasons we should protect these extraordinary animals and learn everything we can about them.
Read more about the Yoder lab’s new hypothesis in “Jumping Genes Suspected in Alzheimer’s: Mechanism might explain initial states of neurodegenerative disease” published in Duke Today on March 8, 2017.
Or, read the paper itself in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association: “The Alu Neurodegeneration Hypothesis: A primate-specific mechanism for neuronal transcription noise, mitochondrial dysfunction, and manifestation of neurodegenerative disease.”
All DLC research is non-invasive, meaning that we do not allow research that will harm our animals. Learn more about the Duke Lemur Center’s research program here.
Here is a great dementia resource for caregivers and healthcare professionals.
Here is a way for nurses administrators, social workers and other health care professionals to get an easy ceu or two.