00653-A: Canine Idiopathic Familial Epilepsies are Associated with Ion Channel Mutations

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $10,194
Dr. Kate Chandler, DVM, PhD, Royal Veterinary College
July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Treatment

Abstract

Idiopathic epilepsy is the most common canine brain disorder, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It is extremely distressing for the pet owner and most patients require life-long medication. Only about two-thirds of canine epileptics can be controlled adequately with anti-epileptic drugs, which often have significant adverse effects. Idiopathic epilepsy is suspected to have a genetic basis in most affected dogs. Hereditary epilepsy has been confirmed in several breeds including Beagles, German Shepherd Dogs, Keeshonden, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Belgian Tervuren, Viszlas and English Springer Spaniels. Recently the first mutation associated with a canine seizure disorder was identified; an expanded repeat was shown to be a causative mutation in Lafora disease in Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds. The genetic causes of epilepsy are highly likely to be different for each breed, and perhaps even across bloodlines in the same breed. Identifying a genetic basis for these breed-specific epilepsies will assist breeders in reducing the prevalence of the disease through positive selection.

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