Models of CNS injury in the nonhuman primate: A new era for treatment strategies
Central nervous system (CNS) injuries affect all levels of society indiscriminately, resulting in functional and behavioral deficits with devastating impacts on life expectancies, physical and emotional wellbeing. Considerable literature exists describing the pathophysiology of CNS injuries as well as the cellular and molecular factors that inhibit regrowth and regeneration of damaged connections. Based on these data, numerous therapeutic strategies targeting the various factors of repair inhibition have been proposed and on-going assessment has demonstrated some promising results in the laboratory environ. However, several of these treatment strategies have subsequently been taken into clinical trials but demonstrated little to no improvement in patient outcomes. As a result, options for clinical interventions following CNS injuries remain limited and effective restorative treatment strategies do not as yet exist. This review discusses some of the current animal models, with focus on nonhuman primates, which are currently being modeled in the laboratory for the study of CNS injuries. Last, we review the current understanding of the mechanisms underlying repair/regrowth inhibition and the current trends in experimental treatment strategies that are being assessed for potential translation to clinical applications.