LASA is pleased to see the helpful advice from the Animals in Science Committee (ASC) on the use of the forced swim test (FST), which has been published recently. In their view, the use of the FST is justifiable in two specific circumstances: the screening of potential antidepressants and studies of the effects of stress on the nervous system. However, the ASC does not support the use of the FST as a model of depression or to study depression-like behaviour. Although the ASC did not find any alternative methods that could replace the justifiable use of the FST, they noted that replacement technologies are being developed and, subject to their validation, might become available in the future.
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