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Generation of model animals for the neurological and psychological diseases with genetic engineering

Our goal is to clarify the disease mechanisms and to develop a new therapy for human diseases, especially focusing on neurological and psychiatric diseases. On the way to the goal, it is sometimes insufficient by the cooperation with the patients. It is difficult to monitor the progressive change in the real time. It is often difficult also to see the initial change of the disease since the disease may have progressed as the symptom appears.

These issues can be overcome if animal models for the human diseases exist. With this view, we are developing animal models for human neurological and psychiatric diseases. Among some approaches, we are working on the method based on genetic engineering techniques with mouse models and have added some improvements to accommodate for the primate characteristics.

Provided the technique is completed, we expect the phenotype similar to the one observed in human patients by introducing the candidate genes into the primate genome. We can, by using non-human primates, thoroughly examine the changes in the brain, and compare the brain change and phenotype. Once the mechanism is clarified, the possibility for the therapy will increase, sometimes by stimulating or inhibiting the specific pathway. The therapy will be checked in terms of the safety with primate models, and will then be applied to the pre-clinical testing. It is our great pleasure if we could see the smile in the patients.

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