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Dolphins can also get Alzheimer’s disease

Dolphins can also get Alzheimer’s disease

#Dolphins #Alzheimers #disease Welcome to InNewCL, here is the new story we have for you today:

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A common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

A common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).Image: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

A new study suggests that dolphins can suffer from some of the same brain disorders as humans. Scientists in Scotland say they have found evidence in three species of dolphins that their brains can develop classic markers of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings could help explain why dolphins are regularly stranded on land, but more research is needed to confirm if they really do have an Alzheimer’s-like disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and is characterized by large, damaging changes in the brain. In particular, people with the disease have an accumulation of the misshapen form of two proteins normally found in the body called amyloid beta and tau. And it’s these abnormal clumps of amyloid and tau that are believed to be the driving force behind brain destruction. Studies have shown that some of these brain changes are also found in non-human animals such as certain species of monkeys, other non-human apes, and dogs. But these animals don’t often seem to develop the neurological symptoms common in Alzheimer’s patients, leading some experts to speculate that Alzheimer’s might be a uniquely human disease.

This new research comes from scientists from various universities and the Mordun Research Institute in Scotland. They theorized that dolphins’ brains might be similar enough to humans to suffer from this type of dementia. To test their theory, the team examined brain samples from Odontocetes, or toothed whales — a broad group of aquatic mammals that includes dolphins, porpoises and sperm whales. In total, they examined the brains of 22 toothed whales from five species, including 18 older specimens: Risso’s dolphin, Longfinned pilot whale, White-beaked dolphin, Harbor porpoise and Bottlenose dolphin. These animals had all stranded and died off the coast of Scotland.

In all, the team identified four animals from three species that had all or most of these Alzheimer’s markers in their brains. These included two long-finned pilot whales, a white-beaked dolphin and a common bottlenose dolphin. The team’s findings were published earlier this month in the European Journal of Neuroscience.

The findings may support a common hypothesis about why dolphins and whales regularly strand on land, known as the “sick leader” theory. This theory argues that an otherwise healthy group of dolphins can be sent to their deaths in shallow waters by a sick or confused leader. So it’s possible that dementia is one reason these executives become less confident in navigating as they get older.

As interesting as the work is, the authors are cautious about its implications for now. Just showing that these brain changes can occur in dolphins doesn’t necessarily mean they can develop something similar to Alzheimer’s. And even in humans, there’s still a lot we don’t understand about the biology of this disease.

“These are significant results showing for the first time that brain pathology in stranded odontocetes is similar to the brains of people affected by clinical Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author Mark Dagleish, a University of Glasgow pathologist. in a statement from the university. “While it is tempting at this point to speculate that the presence of these brain lesions in odontocetes suggests that they may also suffer from the cognitive deficits associated with human Alzheimer’s disease, more research needs to be done to better understand.” to understand what happens to these animals.”

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