Dogs may have more in common with humans than you think. Such is the case with an Italian breed of dog called Lagotto Romagnolo. This little dog was raised to sniff out those wonderful truffles and some of them also suffer from neurodegenerative disease symptoms like movement problems and cerebellar dysfunction.
Researchers from France and Switzerland have identified a gene involved in this condition named ATG4D. This particular gene does some housekeeping for the cell by keeping it clean and helps to protect the cell in stressful situations. Dog owners participated in the research by donating blood samples to have the screening done.
Because this gene is inherited, it may show us another way to develop treatments for other neurodegenerative diseases in dog and in humans!!!