Swine Brain Development as a Research Model for Human Neurology

Doctor looking at vertebral mri scan of porcine as a research model for human neurology

Can pigs’ brains teach us about human neurology and childhood development? Absolutely. Research shows, over and over, that porcine biology is surprisingly similar to humans, even when it comes to their minds.

Porcine organs, glands, and other research tissue can be your gateway to successful medical studies! Read on to learn more about swine as a research model for human neurology.

Porcine Neurology as a Pathway to Human Knowledge

The possibility of studying human neurology via pigs has been established for decades, since at least 1979. The Early Human Development article “Comparative Aspects of the Brain Growth Spurt” proposed that swine brains could be used as a model for human neurology, and so far, that notion has been proven correct. Numerous follow-up studies have been published over the decades exploring this link.

For example, in 2007, the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews published this article on “The Use of Pigs in Neuroscience.” It explored the possibilities of using swine brains to model neuropsychiatric diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease – potentially creating an entirely new pathway for understanding debilitating neurological conditions.

Another notable paper came in 2011, from the journal Pediatric Research. This was among the first studies to put swine into MRI machines for noninvasive mapping of their brain. They found strong relationships between the development of swine brains and the swine’s’ overall body mass, which matched closely to the development of human brains.

Some variation was found in active hormones, although the researchers noted that this could have also been a byproduct of the anesthetics needed to immobilize the swine. Such anesthetics are typically not necessary when putting a human in an MRI, so it could be a confounding factor.

More recently, researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center expanded on both previous pieces of research. They used MRIs on conscious swine, to map connectivity in sensorimotor regions within their brains and found strong parallels between human brain mappings. This affirms and strengthens the 2007 research pointing towards swine as an effective test model for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and similar neurodegenerative disorders.

Animal Biotech Industries is Your Source for Top-Quality Porcine Organs and Tissues

Every year, more papers are published that recognize the value of pig organs, tissues, and other biological structures in human medical research. ABI is at the forefront of this movement as one of the most respected sources of porcine tissue in the United States with twenty years of experience in the field. Our expert staff ensures the exact harvesting, packaging, and transport of samples to ensure the highest grade of research material. We also offer consultation services to help researchers identify the best materials for their studies.

Please contact us to discuss your needs.