While the causes are not fully understood yet, scientists believe that canine cognitive dysfunction results from a combination of genetic, age ( older dog ), lifestyle, nutritional and enviromental factors.
The changes in the brains of dogs with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction are well documented:
Decrease in brain mass and cell number
Increase in ventricle size
Decrease in blood flow
Accumulation of ß amyloid plaques which interfere with conduction
DHA deficiency: DHA is one of the major building blocks of the brain
Oxidative stress with damage to lipids, proteins and DNA in neurons
MRI Image of an older dog brain with enlargement of ventricles
ß amyloid plaques in a dog brain
The deleterious effects of these pathological changes provide the basis for the pathogenesis of CCD and converge ultimately to synaptic dysfunction and neurotransmission deficit, synoptic disruption and neuronal cell loss.