Equine Grass Sickness has similarities with human neurodegenerative disorders

Each year in the U.K., about 2 percent of horses die from grass sickness. No one knows what causes the disease, but it does occur almost exclusively in grass-fed animals, including ponies and donkeys. A similar disease is thought to afflict dogs, cats, rabbits, hares, llamas, and possibly sheep.

Horse with chronic grass sickness, showing marked weight loss and narrow stance. Photo provided by Bruce McGorum.

Horse with chronic grass sickness, showing marked weight loss and narrow stance. Photo provided by Bruce McGorum.

In an attempt to understand what happens at the molecular level of equine grass sickness, researchers recently reported in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics their analysis of tissue samples taken from horses stricken with the disease. They found misfolded and dysregulated proteins in the tissues that resembled those found in human neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease and Huntington disease. Read more about the study below:

http://wildtypes.asbmb.org/2015/09/29/a-rare-horse-disease-has-similarities-with-human-neurodegenerative-disorders/