The Brain Health of Your Pet May Shed New Light on Alzheimer's

Just as resistance to antibiotics affects you and your pets, researchers have identified a form of Alzheimer's disease in elderly cats which may be very similar to that experienced by humans.

Scientists had already suspected felines were susceptible to dementia, thanks to previous research that had identified thick plaque on the outside of the brain cells of elderly cats, and found further evidence after spotting a protein that creates tangles inside nerve cells which interfere with messages processed by the brain.

The important numbers you need to know about your cat: Researchers estimate 28 percent of felines, ages 11-14, have at least age-related behavioral problem, a number that increases to more than 50 percent after age 15.

That said, the same natural measures you take to reduce your own risk of Alzheimer's -- an improved diet, exercise and mental stimulation -- can work wonders for the brain health of your cat too.

Medical News Today December 10, 2006

Scotsman.com December 6, 2006

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 8, No. 4, August 2006: 234-242