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Behav Neurosci. 2002 Jun;116(3):387-96.

Impairment of executive function induced by hypertension in the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta).

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


The effects of chronic, untreated hypertension on executive function were investigated in a nonhuman primate model of hypertensive cerebrovascular disease. Executive function was assessed with the Conceptual Set-Shifting Task (CSST). a task adapted from the human Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Like the WCST, the CSST requires abstraction of a stimulus set, followed by a series of set shifts. Performance on the CSST by 7 young adult monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with surgically induced hypertension was compared with that of 6 normotensive monkeys. The hypertensive group was significantly impaired relative to the normotensive group in abstraction and set shifting. Although the neural basis of this impairment is unclear, evidence from studies with humans and monkeys suggests that the prefrontal cortex may be the locus for this effect of hypertension.

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