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Beagles Used In Alzheimer's Study, But For Dogs With The Disease, Not Humans

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— Someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds. Well, there's some new research underway regarding beagles that have the disease. According to the San Francisco SPCA, the study started after pet owners started noticing that their older dogs had similar behavior to people who have the disease.

"Rather than use mouse models, researchers started to look at dogs as a natural model to study Alzheimer's," said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett. She said some of the beagle behavior changes included; change in sleep and weight pattern. Others were cognitive and memory disorders like not recognizing their owners or not remembering to give cues when they need to go outside.

Suffering the symptoms is not only hard on your pet, but it can make living with them difficult. Scarlett offered some suggestions for possible preventative measures against the disease.

"Several studies have shown amazing improvements in the memory and learning of older dogs by feeding them a diet rich in antioxidants— mainly fruits and vegetables. And they've also seen an improvement in the learning behavior improved with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and lots of socialization with other dogs. So just like with humans, we can be proactive about helping our aging pets through diet and exercise."

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