Three species of cetaceans stranded off the coast of Scotland, including a bottlenose dolphin and a long-finned pilot whale, have shown signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Research.

Although forms of dementia are well known in other animals, Alzheimer’s disease has been found naturally in all but humans.

But researchers from the University of Glasgow, the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh and the Mordun Research Institute in 2011 Scotland A post-mortem examination of 22 dental wells, or odontocetes, surprisingly found three key brain changes associated with human Alzheimer’s disease in three animals.

Scientists do not know what causes this brain degeneration, but a theory can support why some groups or whales and dolphins are stuck in shallow water.

Some mass threads are attached to this. Increasing anthropogenic noise Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in the oceans, but not in the brain a The concept of “sick leader”.This is because mostly sane citizens follow a confused or lost group leader.

The researchers found signs of Alzheimer’s in three of the 22 captive odontocetes: the white-beaked dolphin, the bottlenose dolphin and the long-finned pilot whale, also a member of the dolphin family.

According to the paper published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, all three individuals are old for their species, and have shown signs of Alzheimer’s in humans. Abnormal amounts of beta-amyloid protein were deposited in plaques that damaged neurons in the brain, another protein called tau was attached to neurons, and glial cells were deposited, causing brain inflammation.

Dr Mark Daglish, a pathologist and lead researcher at the University of Glasgow, said it was not possible to prove whether this damage would cause the same cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s in humans. To determine if dolphins and whales have Alzheimer’s disease, the animals need to be studied while they are still alive.

He said: “These are significant findings that show for the first time that the brain pathology in dissected odontocetes is similar to the brains of people with clinical Alzheimer’s disease. While it is tempting at this stage to speculate that the presence of these brain lesions in odontotes may suffer from the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans, more research is needed to better understand what is happening in these animals.

One reason whales and dolphins show Alzheimer’s-like brain damage is that, unlike humans, they can live for years after ceasing to reproduce. In a 2020 study, another reason was pointed out to confirm that Beaked whales that dive deeper due to hypoxia are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s-like diseases. Low levels of oxygen in their body tissues – caused by feeding in the ocean.

Recently, Alzheimer’s symptoms have been discovered A single, 40-year-old bottlenose dolphin in captivity..

Professor Tara Spiers-Jones, from the University of Edinburgh, who was part of the research team, said: “We were very surprised to see brain changes in aging dolphins similar to those seen in human aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Whether these pathological changes contribute to stunting in these animals is an interesting and important question for future work.

The study raises further questions for Alzheimer’s research in animals and humans, Daglish said. “If these are the only animals that develop these lesions spontaneously, further study may provide some help and insight into what happens in the early stages of these lesions. If we can identify the underlying causes of this disease, can we develop ways to treat or prevent it?”

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