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Neurobiol Aging. 2013 Jul;34(7):1891-901. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.01.018. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

A preclinical cognitive test battery to parallel the National Institute of Health Toolbox in humans: bridging the translational gap.

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Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, University of California-Irvine, CA, USA.


A major goal of animal research is to identify interventions that can promote successful aging and delay or reverse age-related cognitive decline in humans. Recent advances in standardizing cognitive assessment tools for humans have the potential to bring preclinical work closer to human research in aging and Alzheimer's disease. The National Institute of Health (NIH) has led an initiative to develop a comprehensive Toolbox for Neurologic Behavioral Function (NIH Toolbox) to evaluate cognitive, motor, sensory and emotional function for use in epidemiologic and clinical studies spanning 3 to 85 years of age. This paper aims to analyze the strengths and limitations of animal behavioral tests that can be used to parallel those in the NIH Toolbox. We conclude that there are several paradigms available to define a preclinical battery that parallels the NIH Toolbox. We also suggest areas in which new tests may benefit the development of a comprehensive preclinical test battery for assessment of cognitive function in animal models of aging and Alzheimer's disease.

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