According to the Mayo Clinic, the disease Alzheimer’s disease It is a progressive neurological disorder that causes the brain to shrink and the nerve cells in the brain to die. It is the most common cause of mental illnessPersistent deterioration in thinking, behavior, and social skills that affects a person’s ability to live independently.
It now appears that a similar disease can also affect dolphins and to be related to the events in which these animals end up en masse on the coasts.
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The results are part of a study, the result of a collaboration between Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Glasgow and the Moredun Research Institute. As revealed in a statement, the experts studied the brains of 22 serrated beadsToothed whales, of five different species.Risso’s dolphin, pilot whale, white-billed dolphin, porpoise, bottlenose dolphin– which was stuck in Scottish coastal waters.
Scientists found that four animals of different species of dolphin displayed some of the brain changes that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
As experts from the University of Edinburgh explain, whales, dolphins and porpoises regularly roam the UK coast. Although some animals manage to be transported to deeper and safer waters by teams of experts, others are less fortunate and die. The causes of delinquency are not always clear and research continues to better understand them.
The results of this study could support the “sick leader” theory, in which it is believed that a healthy herd of animals may head into dangerously shallow waters after following a group leader who may be confused or lost.
According to the University of Edinburgh, experts have discovered that the brains of all aged animals showed a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease known as amyloid beta plaqueswhich forms when abnormal levels of the beta-amyloid protein clump together between nerve cells, disrupting cell function.
Three animals, each from a different species, presented beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, in addition to other diseases associated with dementia, showing that some species of toothed whales develop a neurological disease similar to Alzheimer’s disease.
However, the study could not confirm whether any of the animals would experience the same cognitive deficits associated with clinical Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
Alejandra Lopez Plaza
*With information from the University of Edinburgh