Experimental models of Parkinson disease (or syndrome)
Some experimental models make use of the specific toxicity of 6-hydroxydopamine or MPTP, able to destroy selectively neurons in the substantia nigra. Transgenic mice, for instance mice overexpressing alpha-synuclein have also been used. More recently the injection of a fibrillar form of alpha-synuclein or of alpha-synuclein isolated from the brain of patients has induced lesions that resemble the Lewy bodies of idiopathic Parkinson disease. However all the models are unsatisfactory and the study of post mortem samples from human patients is still essential to improve the understanding of the disease.
The collect of post mortem samples from patients affected by Parkinson disease remain essential to understand the mechanism of the lesions, develop new hypotheses leading to new treatments, and controlling the effects of those therapeutic attempts.