Paying more attention to attention: towards more comprehensive cognitive translation using mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.

Brain research bulletin

PubMedID: 22390982

Romberg C, Bussey TJ, Saksida LM. Paying more attention to attention: towards more comprehensive cognitive translation using mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. Brain Res Bull. 2013;9249-55.
The cognitive phenotyping of mouse models of Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently focuses on impairments in learning and memory. However, AD is not simply a memory disorder, but other cognitive domains, and in particular attention, can also be impaired even at very early stages of the disease. In this review we argue for the benefits of including other constructs, and in particular attention, in preclinical studies to identify drug targets and disease mechanisms of AD in mouse models. First we give a brief account of the evidence for attentional deficits in AD; we then summarise methods to assess equivalent aspects of attention in mice, followed by a review of recent evidence for attentional impairments in widely used mouse models of AD. We conclude by suggesting that a multidimensional approach to cognitive assessment in preclinical models, in which a number of aspects of cognition are investigated while confounding factors are minimized, is becoming increasingly feasible and may contribute significantly towards the development of more targeted therapeutic interventions.