2252: Canine Epilepsy: Determining the Mode of Inheritance, Mapping the Genes, and Developing a Linkage Test

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $60,900
Dr. James R. Mickelson, PhD, University of Minnesota
December 12, 2001 - December 31, 2003
Sponsor(s): English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation, National Beagle Club, Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation
Breed(s): Beagle, English Springer Spaniel, Vizsla
Research Program Area: Prevention

Abstract

We propose to continue our molecular genetic studies to develop a screening linkage test for predicting epilepsy in Beagles, English Springer Spaniels and Vizslas. Preliminary results of our genetic marker studies in these breeds indicate that we will be able to find linked markers and the chromosomal segment containing the epilepsy gene given sufficiently large and informative pedigrees. The onset of seizures in dogs with epilepsy is typically from one to five years of age. The late onset means that often a dog has already been bred before it is know to be affected. In some individuals, seizures are well controlled with anticonvulsant medications, but a significant number of dogs have "refractory" seizures needing high doses of medications to achieve control. The severity of seizures may be such that the owner elects to have the dog euthanized. A genetic test for epilepsy would allow breeders to screen potential breeding animals for this common, frustrating, and potentially devastating disorder prior to making breeding decisions. Our genome mapping approach to identifying the region of the canine genome containing the defective gene will ultimately lead to the prediction of candidate genes that can be characterized to define the precise defect responsible.

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