1729: Canine Epilepsy: Determining the Mode of Inheritance, Mapping the Genes, and Developing Linkage Test

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $57,500
Dr. James R. Mickelson, PhD, University of Minnesota
March 23, 1999 - March 22, 2001
Sponsor(s): English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation, National Beagle Club, Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation
Breed(s): Beagle, Standard Schnauzer, Vizsla
Research Program Area: Prevention

Project Summary

This project determined the mode of inheritance for epilepsy in three breeds. For Vizslas, the researchers found that epilepsy is most likely an autosomal recessive trait (each parent must pass on one of the genes in order for puppies to be affected); for English Springer Spaniels, epilepsy is consistent with either simple autosomal recessive (carried on one gene) or polygenic recessive. For Beagles, it appears that epilepsy may be a sex-influenced recessive trait. In addition, the researchers began scanning the genome to look for linkages suggestive of epilepsy in all three breeds. This initial project has set the stage for identifying the epilepsy genes in those breeds. The groundwork accomplished allows a further, ongoing study to continue as the researchers work toward the goal of developing a genetic test so that breeders can make breeding decisions to eliminate the disease. The work done in these three breeds should provide assistance for researchers working on epilepsy in other breeds as well.

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