The objective of this research was to investigate the efficacy of DìSeniorTM, a nutraceutical formulated to improve cognitive functions in elderly dogs. To this purpose, some clinical and metabolic investigations and a spatial navigation test were performed in treated and untreated dogs. Moreover, the nutraceutical was also tested on primary hippocampal neuron cultures. Results showed no adverse effects on the dogs' health and a positive effect on learning. In vitro effects on neuron cultures showed an increase in the level of cFOS in treated neurons compared with the vehicle, suggesting that DiSeniorTM has also a positive effect on neuronal functions. Overall, this study suggests that DiSeniorTM can exert a beneficial effect on aged dogs by preventing the negative effects of aging on cognition. Further studies are needed to assess the mechanisms by which it acts on neurons and the specific effect of the different components alone or combined.
Keywords: aging; cFOS; cognitive disorders; dog; nutraceuticals; spatial navigation test.