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Pro-Test: standing up for science
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18/12/06

Permalink 05:34:45 pm, by Tom, 219 words, 2740 views   English (UK)
Categories: Information

Alzheimer’s disease found in cats

A study carried out by scientists working at the University of Edinburgh's Royal School of Veterinary Studies and published in the Journal of Feline Medicine have discovered that previously known dementia in cats is actually a feline form of Alzheimer’s, the mental aging process that affects an estimated 24 million people worldwide.

This study found a protein critical for the development of mental deterioration that is very similar to the one found in humans, enabling the link to be discovered. Obviously, this discovery will have consequences for further research as cats that have the disease can be studied to work out the causes and treatment of human Alzheimer’s. Cats are ideal for this as “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”, according to the study.

This news should not only benefit humans but cats as well because, like humans, domesticated cats that live to an old age are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s and so testing on cats will not only benefit patients but their pets as well. It is already known that good diet, mental stimulation and companionship can reduce the risk of dementia in both humans and cats.

Robin Burkill

Stand Up For Science

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