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Table 1 Advantages and disadvantages of using Drosophila as a model organism for neurodegenerative diseases like AD

From: Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism for Alzheimer’s disease

Advantage Disadvantage
No ethical problems/no restrictions according to animal protection laws Brain anatomy, cardiovascular system and respiration systems differs substantially from humans
Easy and cheap to maintain in large quantities, time and cost effective handling No easy measure of complex behavior
Genetic manipulation is fast and inexpensive (3 month, < $ 500 per transgene) Only basic measures of cognitive decline
Plethora of available resources/stocks (e.g. genome-wide RNAi-library) Sometimes poor conservation of proteins/protein function
Short generation time (~10 days), short life span (2–3 month)
- > easy to use for screens
Maintenance as living cultures only, no permanent conservation (e.g. frozen stocks) possible
Fully sequenced and annotated genome Less complex and adaptive immune system as in vertebrates
Good conservation of basic signaling pathways and cellular processes in general Effects of drugs on the organism might differ strongly (e.g. conversion of pro-toxins to toxins in liver)
Low redundancy/reduced number of paralogous genes compared to vertebrates  
Probably best analyzed/understood multi- cellular organism  
More complex organism compare to C. elegans and yeast  
Balancer chromosomes allow the maintenance of mutations/trangenes without genotyping