Did you know that your furry companions can develop a degenerative brain disease called CDS (cognitive dysfunction syndrome) that is similar to Alzheimer’s in humans? Because of similarities between these diseases, research can benefit both humans and animals.
The processes aren’t that different between dogs and humans. Both experience tissue degeneration, dopamine depletion, and amyloid plaque development. The changes in both dogs and humans can affect memory and learning, and effects worsen with age.
Because of the similarities, researchers can work with dogs in the laboratory as models for human Alzheimer’s disease. On the flip side, drugs that have been developed for management of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s symptoms in humans are able to help our companion animals. This is a case of animals helping humans helping animals, which is good news for everyone! Read more about this research here.