A new study provides extensive evidence of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the brains of aged chimpanzees, our closest living relatives.
By Alzheimer's Reading Room
This research adds to a growing number of studies using an evolutionary perspective to identify differences between humans and chimpanzees that could lead to potential targets for therapeutic interventions in humans.
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“Very few studies have investigated Alzheimer’s disease pathology in chimpanzees, the species closest in phylogeny and most genetically related to humans,” said senior author Mary Ann Raghanti, Ph.D., associate professor and interim chair of anthropology at Kent State. “Brain samples from great apes, particularly aged individuals, are incredibly scarce, so a study of this size is rare.”Read more about this interesting research in Scientific America
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Dementia affects one-third of all people older than 65 years in the United States.
The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive, irreversible brain disease that results in impaired cognitive functioning and other behavioral changes.
Humans are considered uniquely susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease, potentially due to genetic differences, changes in brain structure and function during evolution, and an increased lifespan.
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