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ILAR J. 2017 Dec 1;58(2):190-201. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilx021.

Nonhuman Primate Models of Neurodegenerative Disorders.

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Preclinical Parkinson's Research Program, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center.
Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.


Alzheimer's (AD), Huntington's (HD), and Parkinson's (PD) disease are age-related neurodegenerative disorders characterized by progressive neuronal cell death. Although each disease has particular pathologies and symptoms, accumulated evidence points to similar mechanisms of neurodegeneration, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and protein aggregation. A significant body of research is ongoing to understand how these pathways affect each other and what ultimately triggers the onset of the disease. Experiments in nonhuman primates (NHPs) account for only 5% of all research in animals. Yet the impact of NHP studies for clinical translation is much greater, especially for neurodegenerative disorders, as NHPs have a complex cognitive and motor functions and highly developed neuroanatomy. New NHP models are emerging to better understand pathology and improve the platform in which to test novel therapies. The goal of this report is to review NHP models of AD, HD, and PD in the context of the current understanding of these diseases and their contribution to the development of novel therapies.


Alzheimer’s disease; Huntington’s disease; Parkinson’s disease; alpha synuclein; beta amyloid; huntingtin; nonhuman primates

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