Alzheimer's Disease in the Zebrafish: Where Can We Take It?

Erika M. Caramillo, University of Southern Mississippi
David J. Echevarria, University of Southern Mississippi


With the ever-growing geriatric population, research on brain diseases such as dementia is more imperative now than ever. The most prevalent of all dementias is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that presents with deficits in memory, cognition, motor skills, and a general decline in the quality of life. The social and economic burden associated with Alzheimer’s disease is tremendous and is projected to grow even greater over the coming years. There is a specific need to elucidate and improve the treatments available, not only to alleviate the symptoms related to dementias such as Alzheimer’s but also to prevent the formation of the disease. This is an effort that can be expedited and made more efficient by utilizing an animal model such as the zebrafish. This paper reviews the utility of zebrafish in Alzheimer’s research by examining research on a sampling of the treatments available for the disease, specifically donepezil, memantine, and methylene blue. The human model and the shortcomings of the rodent model are also discussed.