Age-related cognitive decline in baboons: Modeling the prodromal phase of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias

Stephanny Lizarraga, Etienne W. Daadi, Gourav Roy-Choudhury, Marcel M. Daadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aging of brain cells and synaptic loss are the major underlying pathophysiological processes contributing to the progressive decline in cognitive functions and Alzheimer's disease. The difference in cognitive performances observed between adult and aged subjects across species highlights the decline of brain systems with age. The inflection point in age-related cognitive decline is important for our understanding of the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases and for timing therapeutic interventions. Humans and nonhuman primates share many similarities including age-dependent changes in gene expression and decline in neural and immune functions. Given these evolutionary conserved organ systems, complex human-like behavioral and age-dependent changes may be modeled and monitored longitudinally in nonhuman primates. We integrated three clinically relevant outcome measures to investigate the effect of age on cognition, motor function and diurnal activity in aged baboons. We provide evidence of a naturally-occurring age-dependent precipitous decline in movement planning, in learning novel tasks, in simple discrimination and in motivation. These results suggest that baboons aged ~20 years (equivalent to ~60 year old humans) may offer a relevant model for the prodromal phase of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to investigate mechanisms involved in the precipitous decline in cognitive functions and to develop early therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10099-10116
Number of pages18
JournalAging
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2020

Keywords

  • Actigraphy
  • Aging
  • CANTAB
  • Cognition
  • Motor skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology

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