2252: Investigating a Ketogenic Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Supplement for the Treatment of Drug-Resistant Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy and Its Behavioral Comorbidities
Grant Status: Open
Canine epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition, often requiring lifelong medication with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Despite appropriate treatment with available AEDs, seizure freedom may not always be achievable. Indeed, over two thirds of dogs with epilepsy continue to have seizures long-term and around 20-30% remain poorly controlled on standard AEDs. These hardest to treat dogs are termed 'refractory' or 'drug-resistant' patients. There is an urgent need to develop alternative treatments to improve the quality of life (QoL) of drug-resistant patients, who may continue to experience unpleasant AED side-effects despite their lack of success. The ketogenic diet, originally characterized as high in fat and low in carbohydrates, has been a successful treatment in children with epilepsy for several decades, decreasing seizure activity and even leading to seizure freedom in drug-resistant patients. Recent research has identified that a component of the ketogenic diet, a medium-chain fatty acid (MCT) called C10 has direct anti-seizure effects on the brain. This project investigates whether dietary supplementation with ACT oil containing C10 for dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy will reduce seizure frequency and/or severity. As epilepsy has multiple impacts on QoL beyond seizure frequency, the researchers will also investigate whether the MCT supplement alters the side effect profile of AEDs, improves behavioral problems associated with epilepsy (e.g. anxiety) and cognition, and improves the stress levels of the affected dog. If successful, MCT supplements could provide a new tool for canine epilepsy treatment.
Packer, R. M. A., Volk, H. A., & Fowkes, R. C. (2017). Physiological reactivity to spontaneously occurring seizure activity in dogs with epilepsy and their carers. Physiology & Behavior, 177, 27–33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2017.04.008
Berk, B. A., Packer, R. M., Law, T., & Volk, H. A. (2018). Investigating owner use of dietary supplements in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. Research in Veterinary Science. 119, 276-284. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2018.07.004
Help Future Generations of Dogs
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.