US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects more than 5 million people in the US. It is progressive and fatal and has no known cure. It is characterized by neuronal death, which may be linked to the formation of plaques of beta-amyloid in the brain. Immunotherapy against beta-amyloid has shown promise in reducing the formation of plaques in mice and is being pursued as a potential treatment in humans. Because dogs develop beta-amyloid plaques and cognitive declines similar to those seen in humans with Alzheimer’s, they may be a good model for testing new treatments.
Lab Anim. (NY) 37, 189 (2008).
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