Cognitive dysfunction syndrome: a disease of canine and feline brain aging

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2012 Jul;42(4):749-68, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 May 17.


Brain aging is a degenerative process manifest by impairment of cognitive function; although not all pets are affected at the same level, once cognitive decline begins it is generally a progressive disorder. Diagnosis of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) is based on recognition of behavioral signs and exclusion of other medical causes that might mimic CDS or complicate its diagnosis. Drugs, diets, and supplements are now available that might slow CDS progression by various mechanisms including reducing oxidative stress and inflammation or improving mitochondrial and neuronal function. Moreover, available therapeutics may provide some level of improvement in cognitive and clinical signs of CDS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects
  • Cat Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / therapy
  • Cats / physiology
  • Cats / psychology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / therapy
  • Complementary Therapies / veterinary
  • Diet Therapy / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy
  • Dogs / physiology
  • Dogs / psychology*
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use


  • Neuroprotective Agents