Diseases Of Aging And "normal" Aging, Advantages And Disadvantages Of Nonhuman Primates As Aging Models
Nonhuman primates provide valuable experimental models for many aspects of aging research. These include diseases of aging (such as diabetes, cardiovascular dysfunction, and osteoporosis), reproductive senescence, neurobiological aging and related cognitive decline, and interventions to alleviate age-related deterioration. The choice of species is dependent on the purpose of the investigation and degree of similarity between the primate model and humans. Many types of nonhuman primates have been employed in gerontological studies, and these include various macaques (cynomologous, pigtails, and rhesus), lemurs, squirrel monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees, and others. By far, the most frequently employed nonhuman primate in gerontological and biomedical studies in general is the rhesus monkey, known by some as the "E. coli (the best characterized and most popular research bacteria) of primates." Mark Lane, at the National Institute on Aging, observed that the number of research articles on the aging of nonhuman primates has increased dramatically, from a total of less than 150 in the period between 1940 and 1978, to over 400 between 1995 and 1999.
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