A closed colony of semi-free-ranging rhesus monkeys maintained in isolation since 1938 by the Caribbean Primate Research Center (CPRC) is being studied as a model for age related macular drusen. Of examined colony animals 57.7% of the monkeys and 47.3% of their eyes have drusen. The prevalence and severity of drusen are linearly related to increasing age and are significantly higher in specific maternal lineages (matrilines). An electrophysiological estimate indicates loss of function associated with drusen. Prevalence of drusen in CPRC females is almost twice that of males, while the prevalence among CPRC animals in general appears to be several times that of monkeys from continental US facilities. Evidence suggests that the frequency of endstage lesions is also similar to that in human populations. The CPRC matriline monkeys appear to provide the best model yet reported for human age related macular drusen.
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