The utilization of small non-mammals in traumatic brain injury research: A systematic review

Nurul Atiqah Zulazmi, Alina Arulsamy, Idrish Ali, Syafiq Asnawi Zainal Abidin, Iekhsan Othman, Mohd Farooq Shaikh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and has complicated underlying pathophysiology. Numerous TBI animal models have been developed over the past decade to effectively mimic the human TBI pathophysiology. These models are of mostly mammalian origin including rodents and non-human primates. However, the mammalian models demanded higher costs and have lower throughput often limiting the progress in TBI research. Thus, this systematic review aims to discuss the potential benefits of non-mammalian TBI models in terms of their face validity in resembling human TBI. Three databases were searched as follows: PubMed, Scopus, and Embase, for original articles relating to non-mammalian TBI models, published between January 2010 and December 2019. A total of 29 articles were selected based on PRISMA model for critical appraisal. Zebrafish, both larvae and adult, was found to be the most utilized non-mammalian TBI model in the current literature, followed by the fruit fly and roundworm. In conclusion, non-mammalian TBI models have advantages over mammalian models especially for rapid, cost-effective, and reproducible screening of effective treatment strategies and provide an opportunity to expedite the advancement of TBI research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-402
Number of pages22
JournalCNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • animal model
  • differential method
  • non-mammals
  • traumatic brain injury

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