Conclusion

The canine is an innovative model for studying cognitive, behavioral, and brain aging. Aging in dogs leads to the manifestation and development of many hallmarks characteristic of human aging. Dogs exhibit cognitive decline with the same general patterns as well as individual variability that occurs in humans. Behavioral consequences are also common to both human and canine aging with parallel changes in locomotion, social responsiveness and exploration. Neuropathological investigations reiterate the similarities between canine and human conditions. In aged dogs there is a strong association between beta-amyloid deposition and cognitive dysfunction but other morphological correlates exist including oxidative damage and neuron loss. The canine is clearly a valuable model of aging to examine the relationship between cognitive function, behavior, and neuropatho-logy, given the many demonstrated similarities to observations in human aging and dementia.

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