Researchers reported Thursday that they have created a new model for studying treatments of Alzheimer’s disease — in rhesus macaque monkeys — that may speed the search for therapies that make an appreciable difference in the course of an illness that affects nearly 6 million Americans.

Despite three decades of intensive research on Alzheimer’s, and billions of dollars in funding, researchers have yet to find a way to prevent or cure, or even to slow, the disease as it rampages through aging brains. Some blame the mice.

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