Despite the growing knowledge and literature on primate medicine, assessment and treatment of behavioral abnormalities in nonhuman primates (NHPs) is an underdeveloped field. There is ample evidence for similarity between humans and great apes, including basic neurologic physiology and emotional processes, and no substantial argument exists against a concept of continuity for abnormal conditions in NHPs that emerge in response to adverse experiences, akin to human psychopathology. NHPs have served as models for human psychopathologies for many decades, but the acquired knowledge has only hesitantly been applied to primates themselves. This review aims to raise awareness among the veterinary community of the wealth of literature on NHP psychopathologies in human medicine and anthropology literature and calls for the necessity to include mental health assessments and professionally structured treatment approaches in NHP medicine. Growing understanding about causes and pathogenesis of abnormal behavior in NHP will not only help to prevent the development of undesirable behaviors but also allow for treatment and management of long-lived, already affected animal patients.
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