Abstract Title

What can Chimpanzees tell us about the risk factors of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S and represents a major public health concern. Recent evidence showed that chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, spontaneously develop the pathological hallmarks of AD- amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. We conducted a study to get a better understanding of the relationships amongst the risk factors of AD pathology, including cardiac disease and metabolic syndrome in chimpanzees. Cardiac disease is the leading cause of death for captive chimpanzees and evidence indicates that they also develop metabolic syndrome, however, it is unclear if these are interrelated. In addition, severe age- or pathology-associated cognitive decline has not been documented in this species. Serum biomarkers, hematology, and echocardiogram data were analyzed to evaluate the relationships among disease processes. We specifically analyzed glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol, and total protein levels of 90 chimpanzees, housed at Yerkes, since elevated levels of these chemistries are associated with cardiac disease and metabolic syndrome in humans. Student’s t-test revealed a significant effect of cardiac disease status with age (t = -4.82, p < 0.002), cholesterol (t = -3.27, p < 0.00), and lymphocytes (t = 2.43, p < 0.002). There was an increase in cholesterol with age, which is greatly associated with cardiac disease. Lymphocytes were also elevated in individuals with cardiac disease, which may be indicative of a pro-inflammatory state. These data revealed that chimpanzees may share similar risk factors for the development of AD pathology as humans.

Modified Abstract

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. We conducted a study to get a better understanding of the relationships among the risk factors of AD, including cardiac disease and metabolic syndrome, in our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. Chimpanzees possess the pathological hallmarks of AD, and cardiac disease is their leading cause of death in captivity. However, it is not clear if these are interrelated. In addition, severe age- or pathology-associated cognitive decline has not been documented in this species. Serum biomarkers, hematology, and echocardiogram data were analyzed to evaluate the relationships among disease processes.

Research Category

Biology/Ecology

Primary Author's Major

Zoology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Mary Ann Raghanti

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

5-4-2018 1:00 PM

Research Area

Animal Diseases | Cardiovascular Diseases | Medical Neurobiology | Medical Pathology | Pathological Conditions, Signs and Symptoms

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Apr 5th, 1:00 PM

What can Chimpanzees tell us about the risk factors of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S and represents a major public health concern. Recent evidence showed that chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, spontaneously develop the pathological hallmarks of AD- amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. We conducted a study to get a better understanding of the relationships amongst the risk factors of AD pathology, including cardiac disease and metabolic syndrome in chimpanzees. Cardiac disease is the leading cause of death for captive chimpanzees and evidence indicates that they also develop metabolic syndrome, however, it is unclear if these are interrelated. In addition, severe age- or pathology-associated cognitive decline has not been documented in this species. Serum biomarkers, hematology, and echocardiogram data were analyzed to evaluate the relationships among disease processes. We specifically analyzed glucose, triglyceride, cholesterol, and total protein levels of 90 chimpanzees, housed at Yerkes, since elevated levels of these chemistries are associated with cardiac disease and metabolic syndrome in humans. Student’s t-test revealed a significant effect of cardiac disease status with age (t = -4.82, p < 0.002), cholesterol (t = -3.27, p < 0.00), and lymphocytes (t = 2.43, p < 0.002). There was an increase in cholesterol with age, which is greatly associated with cardiac disease. Lymphocytes were also elevated in individuals with cardiac disease, which may be indicative of a pro-inflammatory state. These data revealed that chimpanzees may share similar risk factors for the development of AD pathology as humans.