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The DOGMA Initiative

A One Health Approach to Finding Treatment Options for Canine Cognitive Decline and Dementia/Alzheimer's Disease


Welcome to VHRC's inaugural blog post. Today, we will delve into an interdisciplinary initiative that's capturing the attention of veterinarians and researchers alike: the DOGMA Initiative. This ground-breaking project aims to provide insights not only into the condition known as Canine Cognitive Decline (CCD), which affects our aging canine companions, but also into Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). This condition has a profound impact on the health of older adults globally.

The Science & Challenges

1. The Global Impact of Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) stands as a significant cause of dementia among older adults, and it is presenting a formidable challenge to global health. Unfortunately, the journey toward discovering effective therapies for AD has been fraught with obstacles, primarily due to the lack of appropriate animal models for research.

2. The Canine Parallel

Our attention is thus drawn to the Canine Cognitive Decline (CCD) condition. CCD is not just an issue for aging dogs; it also presents an uncanny resemblance to human AD in terms of its neurodegenerative, neuropathological, and behavioral aspects.

3. The One-Health Perspective

The CCD/AD connection offers an intriguing one-health perspective, illustrating how interconnected the health of humans and animals truly is. This link opens new avenues for research and therapeutic strategies.

Implementation within Veterinary Practice

1. The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of CCD is crucial, and veterinarians are often the first to identify symptoms during routine visits.

2. From Recognition to Intervention

Recognizing these symptoms early allows for the initiation of interventions that not only improve our pets' quality of life but also provide invaluable data for interdisciplinary research.

3. The Increasing Urgency

As the global population continues to age, the quest to understand and treat neurodegenerative diseases like AD becomes ever more urgent. The lack of safe and effective treatments alon with the escalating global costs of AD treatments, underscores this urgency.

Building the DOGMA Program

1. Introducing the DOGMA Project

The Dogs Overcoming Geriatric Memory and Aging (DOGMA) Project offers an unparalleled opportunity. It aims to establish a relationship between blood biomarkers and biometric behavior in mature and older dogs, thus setting key benchmarks for CCD.

2. Veterinary Leadership

The DOGMA Project empowers veterinarians to assume leading roles in interdisciplinary research, placing them at the vanguard of one-health initiatives to combat diseases like AD.

3. The Role of Awareness

Promoting awareness and participation in the DOGMA project amplifies its reach and establishes veterinary practices as central players in combating global neurodegenerative diseases.

The DOGMA Initiative will serve as a vital conduit between veterinary science and human medicine. It holds the promise of improving not just the lives of our pets but also offers invaluable insights into one of the most pressing health challenges of our time: Alzheimer's Disease.

Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more exciting updates from VHRC.

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