Abstract # 96:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


VISUAL ASSESSMENT OF ALOPECIA AND HAIR LOSS PATTERNS IN LABORATORY-HOUSED RHESUS MACAQUES USING OPEN SOURCE IMAGE J SOFTWARE

A. M. Ryan1, M. T. Menard2, K. Coleman3, C. K. Lutz4, J. M. Worlein5 and M. A. Novak1,2
1Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Tobin Hall, 135 Hicks Way, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, 2Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 3Oregon National Primate Research Center, 4Southwest National Primate Research Center, 5Washington National Primate Research Center
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     Alopecia, a hair loss disorder observed in laboratory-housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulata), has a complex etiology of physiological and behavioral factors. We developed a procedure to quantify and identify patterns of hair loss. Two groups of monkeys from three facilities were selected for study. The SA group had substantial alopecia (>25%, n=28) and the LA group had no or low levels of alopecia (< 10%, n=36). Sixty-four male and female macaques were photographed in three positions during health exams. Photographs were analyzed using Image J software to quantify total hair loss. Our method confirmed the general classification scheme and also showed that minor alopecia was nearly universal because only five macaques in the LA group had no hair loss. Regardless of severity, hair loss was distributed equally across the three areas of left side, right side, and prone, yielding highly significant positive correlations, ranging from r = 0.95 – 0.98, p<0.001. This symmetrical pattern of hair loss is more consistent with an underlying systemic cause than simply the result of self-directed or socially-directed hair pulling behavior. We also characterized unique patterns of hair loss that may not be evident without viewing the entire body, such as hair loss from friction with surfaces. Friction has not been considered a cause of hair loss, and through our analysis, may reveal to be a cause of mild alopecia.