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Neurotherapeutics. 2012 Apr;9(2):262-9. doi: 10.1007/s13311-012-0116-y.

Animal models of peripheral neuropathies.

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Departments of Neurology and Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Peripheral neuropathies are common neurological diseases, and various animal models have been developed to study disease pathogenesis and test potential therapeutic drugs. Three commonly studied disease models with huge public health impact are diabetic peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, and human immunodeficiency virus-associated sensory neuropathies. A common theme in these animal models is the comprehensive use of pathological, electrophysiological, and behavioral outcome measures that mimic the human disease. In recent years, the focus has shifted to the use of outcome measures that are also available in clinical use and can be done in a blinded and quantitative manner. One such evaluation tool is the evaluation of epidermal innervation with a simple skin biopsy. Future clinical trials will be needed to validate the translational usefulness of this outcome measure and validation against accepted outcome measures that rely on clinical symptoms or examination findings in patients.

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