The authors performed a pathological examination of a 5-year-old female laboratory Japanese monkey who developed cortical blindness and epileptic seizures. Generalized, tonic-clonic seizures started to occur during behavioral training to get the animal to enter a carrying cage for future psychological experiments. Blindness was suspected because of a lack of approaching behavior toward foods such as fruits. Although the monkey was extensively treated with anticonvulsants, the clinical signs did not improve. An increased serum creatine phosphokinase (CPK) level and bilateral occipital brain atrophy were detected. Histopathologically, a severe degree of cerebromalacia was detected bilaterally in the occipital lobe, and necrosis and gliosis were seen mainly in the temporal lobe. Focal inflammation was found in the meninges. No other changes were observed in other nervous tissues or organs, and no signs of a parasitic or viral infection were found in the systemic organs. Spontaneously occurring lesions in the central nervous system have been rarely reported in laboratory monkeys. In the present case, the cause of cerebromalacia could not be confirmed, but the relationship between symptoms such as abnormal vision and the presence of brain lesions was distinct. The authors believe that this case is a valuable historical control case for the laboratory Japanese macaque.
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