Zebrafish & brain disorders

A maze experiment has shown that zebrafish could be a useful model for human performance in decision-making tasks.

Researchers from the University of Portsmouth, UK, analysed zebrafish and human behaviour when navigating through a maze, looking for the effects of drugs and neurological conditions on decision-making.

They found stark similarities in how some conditions and drugs affect decision-making in both zebrafish and humans.

This discovery could help improve diagnosis and drug discovery for complex brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

"It is very rare to find a non-invasive, humane test which can reliably improve diagnosis and be used to improve drug discovery using animal models of complex brain disorders that result in loss of memory and brain function,” says Matt Parker, co-author of the study.

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