Neurobehavioral Assessments (NHP model studies)
The neurobehavioral battery assessment tests populations of neonate NHPs, assessing muscle tone, environmental responsiveness, presence of age-appropriate reflexes and behavior patterns, and vigor of responses. The battery assesses the functionality of both the autonomic and central nervous systems.
The complete neurobehavioral assessment is designed to be safe for both NHPs and the technicians conducting the assessments, examinging both autonomic and central and nervous system functions, which are easily discriminated. Respiration rate, muzzle color and initial state are first recorded by observing the undisturbed model in an incubator. Both observed and elicited muscle tonus are recorded.
Additional evaluations of muscle tone include wrist and ankle dorsiflexion, tested by turning the hand/foot palm side up on the surface and noting how rapidly it returns to the initial position. Palmer grasp reflex, righting reflex and clasp-grasp reflex are involuntary reflexes in the neonatal NHP and are tested. A series of reflexes in the face area are tested. To elicit visual following an object is held in front of the model's face at the midline and then moved to the left and right and is scored.
Lipsmack orient is a species-typical response that is involuntary at birth. Three feeding-related reflexes including sucking, rooting and snout reflex are scored.T he pupil response to light, nystagmus response to rotation, and eyelid blink in response to glabellar tap are also scored. The final reflex tested is the Moro reflex, which is a model's response to loss of support.