In one of the goriest scenes on television last year, Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey collapsed after violently coughing up blood all over the dining table. It turned out to be a burst peptic ulcer. In Downton Abbey’s 1925 world, the doctor advised Lord Grantham to keep a healthy diet and to abstain from alcohol. But nearly a century later we have a much better understanding of the cause and treatment of peptic ulcers, partly thanks to animal research.
Thanks to research using a number of animal models, including mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, pigs and monkeys, the understanding of peptic ulcers has greatly improved, and medicines could be developed to cure them before they turn into a medical emergency.