Animal research is essential for drug advancements

Zaim is currently doing a summer internship at the James P Grant School of Public Health in Bangladesh, and was motivated to write this essay after being appalled at the misinformation and misconceptions that existed about animal research in the non-scientific community. As an asthmatic, Zaim says he owes much of his good health to the animal research behind inhalers. I was diagnosed with asthma at age four.

Animal research is essential for drug advancements

This is an article from the archives. Links and some facts and findings may be outdated. Animal research generates new treatments, benefits society Office of Media Relations February 13, Research involving laboratory animals at UCLA leads to many medical breakthroughs that improve people's lives and hold promise for additional improvements in diagnoses, treatments and cures.

Mouse models of human cancers such as prostate, pancreatic and lung cancer are widely utilized to test innovative cancer-fighting agents. Parkinson's disease UCLA scientists pioneered deep brain stimulation, a surgical procedure used to treat a variety of disabling neurological symptoms — most commonly the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease, such as tremors, rigidity, stiffness, slowed movement and walking problems.

The procedure, made possible through research involving non-human primates, is used to treat Parkinson's patients experiencing only limited benefits from medication alone. Deep brain stimulation also is used to treat essential tremor, a common neurological movement disorder.

Alzheimer's disease Using rodent models, UCLA researchers helped develop a new diagnostic technology that utilizes positron emission tomography PET and integrated microfluidic chips that synthesize and label imaging molecules.

Studies continue at UCLA and elsewhere. Artificial heart The development of the total artificial heart would not have been possible without first testing the device on animals. The first phase of clinical trials on humans began with the implantation of the device in a patient at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

Animal research is essential for drug advancements

The study is ongoing. Schizophrenia Researchers at UCLA have developed new insights into the biochemical processes that contribute to cognitive disabilities affecting behavior, speech and reasoning in schizophrenia patients.

To advance scientific understanding

Within the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain especially well-developed in non-human primates, two neurochemicals engage in an intricate balance to coordinate optimal cognition. As research continues, specifying the nature of these interactions holds promise for discovering genes that cause schizophrenia and developing treatments to counteract it.

The work also holds promise for treating other neurological and psychiatric disorders, notably Alzheimer's-related dementia, stroke and brain trauma. Pediatric heart valve Children with congenital heart defects may soon have an alternative to invasive and risky open-heart surgery.

UCLA researchers are developing a heart valve using super-memory, shape-elastic metal alloy that can be loaded into a catheter, inserted into a vein in the groin area, guided into place and deployed at a precise location within the heart. To test the device, researchers are using pigs, whose circulatory system closely resembles that of humans.

Atherosclerosis UCLA research utilizing mice led to the development of a peptide that shows promise in treating atherosclerosis, a disease of the large arteries that is the primary cause of heart disease and stroke.

UCLA researchers also have used mouse genetics to reveal how oxidation and inflammation contribute to atherosclerosis and to discover new pathways and genes important in the manifestation of the disease.

Mouse models are crucial to a better understanding of the disease and to developing new treatments because examining the mechanisms involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis in humans is not feasible. Food and Drug Administration—approved drug reverses brain dysfunction caused by a genetic disease known as tuberous sclerosis complex TSC.

The findings offer new hope for treating learning disorders and seizures associated with autism, as approximately half of TSC patients also suffer from autism.

The findings hold promise for curing some forms of congenital blindness through gene therapy. Much of this ongoing research involves the use of mice with gene mutations.

Using a mouse model that closely mirrors the genetic defect that causes many cases of the syndrome in humans, UCLA researchers found that an experimental drug improved bone density, reduced bone fractures, aided weight gain and delayed the onset of the disease.

The findings allow researchers to begin targeting treatment for children and make it feasible to consider clinical trials in humans. Stroke Various animal models are used to test new clot retrieval devices and other medications for stroke. Clot retrieval devices have shown a beneficial effect in reversing strokes.

One such device was invented at UCLA. Heart arrhythmia Heart disease is the leading cause of death in industrialized societies worldwide. Organ transplant rejection UCLA researchers using rats to seek new ways of preventing organ rejection in transplant recipients have identified a gene that helps prevent a patient's immune system from rejecting organs.

In addition, promising allochimeric-therapy research seeks to reduce the dosage or shorten the regimen of immunosuppressive medications used to prevent rejection.

The animal research has led to new methods of imaging gene expression, which directly affects the safety and efficacy of gene therapy trials on human cancer patients. The same work allows researchers to better understand basic cancer biology and how tumors grow and spread, enabling the development of new treatment strategies.

Radiation therapy UCLA oncology specialists have used specially bred mice to design more effective radiation therapies for cancer, with minimal side effects for healthy body tissue. Investigators approximate the clinical situation of patients' daily radiation treatment in mice in order to evaluate the long-term response of the body, organ by organ.Animal testing is essential to drug and vaccine research.

In particular, animal experiments have been vital in discovering drugs that slow the progress of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the . Jan 26,  · In the past, animal research has played a critical role in vital health advancements such as preventing polio, eradicating smallpox and identifying new cancer treatments.

As models to study disease

Research with nonhuman animals occupies a central and essential role in psychology and related fields. Both old and new discoveries from animal research continue to play key roles in advancing our understanding of human behavior. Overview. Animal research plays a significant role in medical advancements, providing scientific understanding and product confidence essential to success.

Because Ebola evolved from primate viruses, animal research is essential to the study of disease. Ebola is a leading cause of death in wild chimpanzees and gorillas, so the role of non-human primates in developing a vaccine cannot be overstated.

Animal Research has brought about many medical benefits. This page discusses a handful of examples where animal testing has been instrumental in the development of a medical treatment.

Animal Testing: Humane Research from a Human Perspective – Speaking of Research