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Prog Brain Res. 2009;179:117-25. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(09)17913-X. Epub 2009 Nov 20.

Primate models of schizophrenia: future possibilities.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Schizophrenia is a disorder of the association cortices, with especially prominent structural and functional deficiencies in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (PFC). True dorsolateral PFC is found only in higher primates, and is characterized by highly elaborate pyramidal cells with extensive recurrent connections. The development of the primate PFC also involves distinct developmental and genetic pathways. Thus, primate models may be particularly important in determining the functional impact of genetic changes in patients with schizophrenia. Genes involved with pyramidal cell network connectivity may be especially important to study in primates, as their effects may be magnified in the extensively connected primate neurons. Adeno-associated virus technology appears particularly promising for studying the impact of genetic insults on the structure and function of the primate association cortex.

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