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Title: Degenerative joint disease (DJD) in non-human primates and its relationship to locomotor adaptation and support use
Author: Baiges Sotos, Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 4852
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines degenerative joint disease (DJD) in non-human primates with the aim to detect potentially contributing factors to its presence. Locomotor behaviour has received little attention in studies on DJD in non-human primates as a potential causal factor, despite the great locomotor diversity of the order and the link between human bipedalism and DJD. The main goal was to explore the relationship between the disease and the stress exerted on joints, mainly as a result of locomotion. Locomotor adaptation and locomotor strategy were considered alongside with non-locomotor factors (principally body mass and age) as causal factors for joint degeneration. DJD was recorded for the main weight-bearing joints of 35 taxa of non-human primates, representing a wide variety of locomotor adaptations (vertical clingers and leapers, slow arboreal quadrupeds, leapers, quadrupeds, knuckle-walkers and suspensory primates). These taxa move according to different locomotor strategies, such as different speeds (fast and slow moving species) or different patterns of habitat use (arboreal, terrestrial or semi-arboreal species), which led to interactions with supports of different levels of compliance. The primate taxa studied showed different patterns of DJD expression, which were partially determined by locomotor behaviour. Primates of different locomotor adaptations showed different distribution patterns of DJD according to the levels of stress exerted on different joints or body compartments as a result of locomotion. Moreover, the adoption of different locomotor strategies was coupled with variability of DJD. Other factors, such as body mass or age showed significant correlations with DJD severity exhibiting different coefficients at different joints and body compartments, suggesting that their effect on DJD expression was likely to be important but only in combination with other factors. Multivariate analyses confirmed this conclusion, demonstrating the important effect of mechanical factors in variability of the early development of DJD, as well as a consistent effect of age, especially correlated with an increase in DJD severity and variability. DJD in non-human primates is clearly a multifactorial phenomenon, where stress related to locomotion plays an important role. A new perspective in the study of DJD was presented, providing a good basis for future studies from which other areas could benefit, such as sports medicine, evolutionary primatology or captive care studies.
Supervisor: Nystrom, Pia ; Kuykendall, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available