Feline Alzheimer’s disease

I knew that older dogs can get a type of dementia, but wasn’t aware that cats may, also (never had a cat before to age with). A couple of points the researchers raise–

  • longer life increases the chances of age-related changes (in anything) and
  • good diet, mental stimulation, and companionship improve quality of life
    IVQ friends
  • while obvious are well worth remembering (for feline and hominid; oh, and the dog, too.

    see also

    This is a press release, so I am reprinting it in its entirety.

    Study shows cats can succumb to feline Alzheimer’s disease

    Ageing cats can develop a feline form of Alzheimer’s disease, a new study reveals. Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Bristol and California have identified a key protein which can build up in the nerve cells of a cat’s brain and cause mental deterioration.

    In humans with Alzheimer’s disease, this protein creates ‘tangles’ inside the nerve cells which inhibit messages being processed by the brain. The team says that the presence of this protein in cats is proof that they too can develop this type of disease.

    By carrying out post-mortem examination of cats which have succumbed naturally to the disease, scientists may now be able to uncover vital clues about how the condition develops. This may eventually help scientists to come up with possible treatments.

    Scientists already thought cats were susceptible to dementia because previous research had identified thick, gritty plaques on the outside of elderly cats’ brain cells which are similar to those found in humans. But, by pinpointing this second key marker, the Edinburgh-led team says we can be sure that cats can suffer from a feline form of Alzheimer’s.

    Dr Danielle Gunn-Moore, at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: “This newly discovered protein is crucial to our understanding of the ageing process in cats. We’ve known for a long time that cats develop dementia, but this study tells us that the cat’s neural system is being compromised in a similar fashion to that we see in human Alzheimer’s sufferers. The gritty plaques had only hinted that might be the case – now we know.

    “The shorter life-span of a cat, compared to humans, allows researchers to more rapidly assess the effects of diet, high blood pressure, and prescribed drugs on the course of the disease. However, we also need to understand more about our geriatric cats for their own benefit, so we can slow down the degeneration the disease brings and keep them as happy cats for as long as possible.”

    “As with humans, the life expectancy of cats is increasing and with this longer life runs the greater chance of developing dementia. Recent studies suggest that 28% of pet cats aged 11-14 years develop at least one old-age related behaviour problem and this increases to more than 50% for cats over the age of 15.”

    Experts suggest that good diet, mental stimulation and companionship can reduce the risk of dementia in both humans and cats. Dr Gunn Moore explained: “If humans and their cats live in a poor environment with little company and stimulation, they are both at higher risk of dementia. However, if the owner plays with the cat, it is good for both human and cat. A good diet enriched with antioxidants is also helpful in warding off dementia, so a cat owner sharing healthy meals like chicken and fish with their pet will benefit them both.”

    Dr Frank Gunn-Moore, at the School of Biology, University of St Andrews, said: “This work relied on a team effort with the different skills and expertise from our different institutions. It has given us an insight into the molecular changes that are occurring in the degenerating brain. From this knowledge we are now currently trying to develop new and novel treatments which will be able to help both cats and humans”.
    ###

    The findings of the study are published in a recent edition of the Journal of Feline Medicine.

    Public release date: 5-Dec-2006
    Contact: Linda Menzies, Linda.Menzies AT ed.ac.uk
    44-131-650-6382
    University of Edinburgh


    Site Search Tags: , , ,


    O’Folks (off their rocker)

    Old age isn't a disease.

    Arctic sunset

    © header image

    Comments how-tos

    For those new to blogs, check out this post *commenting on blogs* Recent comments, on the sidebar blogroll, often have additional or complementary information. Recent revisions of posts themselves may be found by using the search box for "revised". Tech support says spam (ads or worse) is hitting WordPress heavily so if you don't see your comment in 24 hours, send an E-mail and TS will check the spam trap.

    RSS BHIC Bringing Health Info to the Community

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

    Categories

    RSS Nonagenarian news

    • Bill Monahan, former lawmaker, businessman, athlete, dies at age 90 | News, Sports, Jobs - Maui News
      Bill Monahan, former lawmaker, businessman, athlete, dies at age 90 | News, Sports, Jobs  Maui News
    • Omaha University's first NFL player Joe Arenas dies at age 94 - Omaha World-Herald
      Omaha University's first NFL player Joe Arenas dies at age 94  Omaha World-Herald
    • Why this 90-year-old man decided to come out as gay during the pandemic - The Washington Post
      Why this 90-year-old man decided to come out as gay during the pandemic  The Washington Post
    • TV pioneer Carl Reiner dies at age 98 - WNDU-TV
      TV pioneer Carl Reiner dies at age 98  WNDU-TV
    • CLAUDE ROGERS, AGE 90 - 1057news.com
      CLAUDE ROGERS, AGE 90  1057news.com
    • Lutie Jane (Hineline) Graham, age 97 of Shenandoah IA formerly Sidney, IA - newschannelnebraska.com
      Lutie Jane (Hineline) Graham, age 97 of Shenandoah IA formerly Sidney, IA  newschannelnebraska.com
    • Former Utah State Football Coach Phil Krueger Dies At Age 90 - Utah State Aggies
      Former Utah State Football Coach Phil Krueger Dies At Age 90  Utah State Aggies
    • Maxine Bounous, one of the first American ski instructors, dies at age 94 - Salt Lake Tribune
      Maxine Bounous, one of the first American ski instructors, dies at age 94  Salt Lake Tribune
    • West Indies cricket legend Sir Everton Weekes dies aged 95 - CNN International
      West Indies cricket legend Sir Everton Weekes dies aged 95  CNN International
    • Co-founder of Pensacola Christian College passes away at age 90 - WEAR
      Co-founder of Pensacola Christian College passes away at age 90  WEAR
    December 2006
    M T W T F S S
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031

    Haeremai Camai Bula Bepuwave Bienvenidos

    • 198,111 visitors

    %d bloggers like this: