Exercising and Aging Research
Why do we want our dogs to exercise
The Importance of Exercise for Aging Dogs
Dogs participating in Vaika's study have been running and pulling sleds their entire lives; they are accustomed to physical activity and become bored without it. To keep them happy, we should provide them with the opportunity to continue training, as long as their health permits.
Assessing Treatment Efficacy Through Exercise Data
We sought an objective parameter that would clearly indicate whether the anti-aging treatment we plan to apply is beneficial. To achieve this, we will utilize data collected during exercise: we will record speed, endurance, and gait for dogs participating in treadmill and pull tests before treatment and then every six months afterward.
Combined with data on their performance in their younger years, these observations will help us assess the rate of decline in physical performance with age, and whether the treatment improves or postpones this decline. Notably, dogs will wear PetPace collars during the test, which will provide information on their heart rate and oxygen levels, allowing us to better assess their health status while exercising.
Cytokine Response and Aging
Aging affects the body's ability to respond to "stress." Biologists define the response to stress as the sequence of physiological reactions that occur upon recognizing certain external triggers, including infectious agents, temperature changes, hunger, or exercise.
The chain of reactions in response to various stimuli can be tracked by the presence of specific molecules in the blood, called cytokines. These regulatory molecules can be released by various cell types and mediate the activity of immune cells. It is well-established that the body's ability to release a specific set of cytokines in response to certain stimuli becomes compromised with age in humans and mice, even in the absence of immune challenges. We will analyze this timeline for older dogs and determine whether the proposed treatment can mitigate defects in cytokine response in elderly animals.