AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Researchers Find Pathologic Hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease in Aged Chimpanzee Brains

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The brains of aged chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, show pathology similar to the human Alzheimer’s disease (AD) brain, according to a new, multi-institution research study.

The findings provide the most extensive evidence of AD brain pathology in a primate species to date. The research team includes scientists from Georgia State University, Kent State University, The George Washington University, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Barrow Neurological Institute and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Dementia affects one-third of all people over 65 years old in the United States. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive, irreversible brain disease that results in impaired cognitive functioning and other behavioral changes. Humans are considered uniquely susceptible to AD, potentially because of genetic differences, changes in brain structure and function during evolution and an increased lifespan.  

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