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111 Alzheimer's in cats

Posted Oct 01 2008 9:07pm
Who knew? A recent study shows that our feline friends also get Alzheimer's.
I have to wonder HOW you would know your cat had AD. With my dad (who is NOT a cat) it started with his posture, then his language skills. I only have one cat left, who is 13 and mopey over the loss of his best friend, and he's also got a cold right now. I can't imagine how I'd figure out if he had dementia as well. My dad doesn't forget things that are long-term (like where he lives, that my mom and I are important people to him). My cat doesn't really know much. He knows where his food bowl is, where his poop box is, and all the soft places to sleep. And he knows us, of course. I wish the article went into more details about the symptoms. Not that I think my cat is demented (well, not in an Alzheimer's way, anyway), but what if he was? Then what?
Highlights:
Cats can develop a feline form of Alzheimer's disease, say U.K. and U.S. researchers who identified a protein that can build up in brain nerve cells and cause mental deterioration. ... We've known for a long time that cats develop dementia, but this study tells us that the cat's neural system is being compromised in a similar fashion to that we see in human Alzheimer's sufferers. ... The shorter life span of a cat, compared to humans, allows researchers to more rapidly assess the effects of diet, high blood pressure, and prescribed drugs on the course of the disease. However, we also need to understand more about our geriatric cats for their own benefit, so we can slow down the degeneration the disease brings and keep them as happy cats for as long as possible... Like humans, pet cats have a longer life expectancy than they used to, which means they have a greater likelihood of developing dementia.
Recent studies suggest that 28 percent of pet cats aged 11-14 years develop at least one old-age related behavior problem, and this increases to more than 50 percent for cats over the age of 15.
My cat is 13 and right now his only problem is his cold, which the vet said is viral since it reoccurs periodically and goes away on its own.
(cross posted to my pets blog)
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