Why bother using non-human primate models of cognitive disorders in translational research?

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2015 Oct:124:123-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2015.06.012. Epub 2015 Jun 29.


Although everyone would agree that successful translation of therapeutic candidates for central nervous disorders should involve non-human primate (nhp) models of cognitive disorders, we are left with the paucity of publications reporting either the target validation or the actual preclinical testing in heuristic nhp models. In this review, we discuss the importance of nhps in translational research, highlighting the advances in technological/methodological approaches for 'bridging the gap' between preclinical and clinical experiments. In this process, we acknowledge that nhps remain a vital tool for the investigation of complex cognitive functions, given their resemblance to humans in aspects of behaviour, anatomy and physiology. The recent improvements made for a suitable nhp model in cognitive research, including new surrogates of disease and application of innovative methodological approaches, are continuous strides for reaching efficient translation for human benefit. This will ultimately aid the development of innovative treatments against the current and future threat of neurological and psychiatric disorders to the global population.

Keywords: Alzheimer; Cantab; Depression; Ethology; Non-human primate; Parkinson; Transgenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / genetics
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Macaca
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Primates
  • Species Specificity
  • Translational Research, Biomedical / methods*