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Reference Desk April 2012

New Studies Support Use of NOVIFIT® for Senior Dogs and Cats With Cognitive Dysfunction

    FORT WORTH, Texas, April 12, 2012—Results from a combination of new research studies of aged dogs and cats suggest NOVIFIT® (NoviSAMe®) Tablets can diminish the effects of age-related cognitive dysfunction. Collectively, the results also support the use of NOVIFIT Tablets supplementation for cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in senior dogs and cats, especially for those in the early stages of the disease.

    Specifically formulated for both aging dogs and cats, NOVIFIT Tablets, made by Virbac Animal Health, contain S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a molecule naturally present in the body. In the human medical field, a SAMe deficiency has been found in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

    Research Details

    The new companion animal studies were conducted by CanCog Technologies, Inc., an independent contract research company that specializes in studies of companion animals in laboratory and clinical settings. A summary of the studies, “NOVIFIT (NoviSAMEe) Tablets Improve Executive Function in Aged Dogs and Cats: Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome,” was presented at the 6th Annual Canadian Conference on Dementia (October 2011), and is scheduled for publication in the International Journal of Applied Research, April 2012.

    An Unmet Need

    With signs of CDS now being reported in millions of aging pets, the studies help to advance understanding of effective possibilities for treatment. As the summary points out, “Identification of treatments that prevent, halt or reverse CDS, represents an unmet need in senior animal veterinary care.”

    The new research supports the use of NOVIFIT Tablets supplementation for improving cognitive health in specific areas of age-related dysfunction. The results suggest that NOVIFIT Tablets improve executive function in both dogs and cats, but has no effect on either short- or long-term memory based on the dose and treatment duration used in the current study. Executive function generally refers to cognitive processes such as attention, problem solving, and working memory. The NoviSAMe ingredient is most effective when used in early stages of CDS.

    A Feline First

    The results also offer the first research findings relating to cats. According to Heidi Lobprise, DVM, DAVDC, Virbac Corporation, “This is the first published report we are aware of demonstrating improvement of cognitive deficits in aged cats.”

    Previous studies suggest that as many as 28% of cats aged 11 to 14 years develop at least one geriatric-onset behavior problem, and this increases to more than 50% for cats of 15 years of age or older.1 And yet, many cat owners have no idea that older cats may be struggling with cognitive problems.

    “Outside the setting of a study, however, people might not realize their cat is gradually having cognitive problems until things have become really bad,” author and syndicated newspaper pet columnist Steve Dale, CABC, reported online in The CATalyst.2 “The new study confirms that with early intervention, a nutraceutical may delay a worsening onset and potentially improve mental acuity of affected cats.”

    In the current studies of senior cats, a significant reduction in reversal learning errors under treatment was found in top performers. By contrast, there were no effects in bottom performers. While baseline and treatment performance was independent of age, the NoviSAMe ingredient was found to be most effective when used in cats with early progression of CDS.

    About Virbac
    Virbac develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of products and services intended for the prevention and treatment of common pathologies in companion animals. Virbac Corporation U.S., located in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leading companion animal health company offering products in the heartworm, tick and flea, dermatology, antibiotics, endocrinology, senior care, behavior, critical care nutrition, and oral hygiene markets. Virbac products are available to pet owners exclusively through a veterinarian. For more information about Virbac and the company’s products, please visit www.virbacvet.com.

    1. Moffat KS & Landsberg GM (2003) An investigation of the prevalence of clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) in cats. JAAHA39, 512 (abstract).
    2. “The CATalyst: Help for Alzheimer’s in Cats,” Steve Dale, CABC, www.catchannel.com/catalyst/catalyst-030112.aspx.

    Source: Virbac Animal Health

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