Signs of human dementia found in chimpanzees

In the brains of elderly chimpanzees can form amyloid plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. This is found researchers from North East medical University of Ohio in the United States. While it remains unclear whether worsening of cognitive abilities of monkeys. Article researchers published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. It is reported with reference to the edition of New Scientist.

In Alzheimer’s disease (senile dementia) in the brain tissues in large quantities leads to formation of short protein molecules called beta-amyloid. They form insoluble accumulation of – amyloid plaques, the accumulation of which, according to one hypothesis, the cause of this disease. The plaques cause changes in the Tau proteins that are also tangled with each other.


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The researchers examined the brains extracted in 20 chimpanzees aged 37-62 years (on average, these monkeys can live to 50 years). They studied the neocortex (responsible for higher nervous functions) and the hippocampus (involved in the formation of emotions and memory). Professionals found beta-amyloid plaques and tangled Tau proteins in the brain of primates 12. The older was a monkey, the greater the number of plaques present in its nerve tissues.

However, the researchers found no signs of dementia in chimpanzees. According to scientists, this may be due to the fact that abnormal proteins are the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and its by-product. Future work should help determine whether there are differences between apes and man, which makes the latter susceptible to dementia.