UF researchers find signs of Alzheimer’s pathology in dolphins

UF researchers find signs of Alzheimer’s pathology in dolphins


This paper is really the first to look at
dolphins that had been washed up on shore, to look to see if they had pathology that
was found in humans. So in humans, there are two types of pathologies
that are always present. One of them is the amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary
tangle. You have to have both to have Alzheimer’s
disease. You find amyloid plaques in animals, it is
not that uncommon. Aging monkeys will have them, they have seen
them in dogs, bear and cats. Tangles are less frequent, there’s not as
much data on whether there are tangles present. The most exciting part of this paper is that
this is the first time Alzheimer’s disease pathologies in dolphins. Three different species of dolphins, bottlenose
dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and striped dolphins both amyloid plaques and tau tangles. Age is the biggest factor in humans, the risk
factor for Alzheimer’s disease. And you have to remember that dolphins can
live for more than 50 or 60 years, as long as humans approximately, and we know we know
their behavior in captivity, but we don’t know to much about dolphins in the wild. They were wild animals, we have no ideal what
their mental ability was before they were found, so it hard to say if they had the full
symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease which would include the dementia with the pathology.

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