Mouse brain experiments are untenable

I am frustrated by NIH’s insensitivity and imperviousness to the continual outpouring of information that confirms that experiments on the brains of mice fail to adequately translate to human biology and medicine.  Last year alone, NIH funded over $34 million in dubious mouse brain experiments at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. 

In recent months, two ground-breaking studies have confirmed sweeping differences in the brains of mice and humans in several areas, including the cerebellum, the cortex and a tenfold disparity in neurotransmitters. [Nature 573, 61–68 (2019) DOI:10.1038/s41586-019-1506-7; and Science 366, 454-460 (2019) DOI: 10.1126/science.aax7526]

These discrepancies explain why hundreds of drugs that have shown promise to treat mice for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and more have yet to treat a single person. Only one in every 100 neuropsychiatric drugs tested in clinical trials is approved for humans.

It is a travesty for NIH to continue to invest millions if not billions of dollars into animal experiments that do nothing but torment animals while failing to address human medical needs.

As an American taxpayer and a stakeholder in this system, I respectfully request that NIH and the Allen Institute for Brain Science dramatically cut back on mouse brain research, as well as all neurological research on animals, and focus solely on human-centric research to allow the advancement of cures for brain and neurological disorders.

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