Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.

Document Type

Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Degree Program

Neuroscience & Behavior

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2019

Month Degree Awarded

February

Abstract

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a complex phenotype that occurs with an increasing prevalence of about 7-34% in humans and 10-12% in non-human primates (NHPs). This study evaluated the efficacy of probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri as a treatment for self-injurious behavior (SIB) and sleep disruption in rhesus macaques. The treatment was proposed to alleviate mild self-biting, sleep disruption, and reduce chronically elevated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity, all hallmark features of monkeys with this condition. The probiotic preparation included two strains of L. reuteri (L. reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 & L. reuteri DSM 17938) containing on average 200 million colony forming units per chewable tablet. The study was conducted on 14 rhesus macaque monkeys (9 males) housed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. To our knowledge this is the first time that a Lactobacillus strain has been used as a treatment for SIB in rhesus macaques. This study utilizes motion-activated infrared camera technology, modified enzyme-immunosorbent-assays (EIAs) techniques to measure hair cortisol concentrations, and daily behavioral observations to provide an overall assessment of the behavioral, physiological, and sleep associated implications of probiotic treatment on SIB and control non-human primates (NHPs). Administration of L reuteri modestly decreased biting behavior in monkeys with SIB (F(2,12) = 5.64, p= 0.02) and showed overall decrease in nighttime activity across all subjects but did not normalize SIB to nonSIB values. Hair cortisol values are pending. These findings and the findings of previous work further strengthen the argument for probiotics as an efficacious treatment for SIB behavior.

First Advisor

Dr. Melinda Novak

Second Advisor

Dr. Jerold Meyer

Third Advisor

Dr. Agnès Lacreuse

Share

COinS