Epilepsy and the Gut Microbiome


CHF Grant 02249-A: Studying the Role of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Canine Epilepsy

Publication: Muñana, K. R., Jacob, M. E., & Callahan, B. J. (2020). Evaluation of fecal Lactobacillus populations in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy: A pilot study. Animal Microbiome2(1), 19. 

What can we learn?
Alterations in Lactobacillus bacterial populations in the intestinal tract are suspected to play a role in several neurologic diseases in humans. A pilot study conducted at North Carolina State University examined Lactobacillus populations in the fecal microbiome of 13 pairs of dogs. Each pair lived in the same household and ate the same diet, but one dog had untreated epilepsy and the other was healthy. Results showed no statistically significant difference in the relative or absolute amount of Lactobacillus bacteria in the fecal microbiome of epileptic dogs compared to healthy dogs in the same household.
Additionally, researchers demonstrated no negative effects on Lactobacillus growth in culture when exposed to therapeutic concentrations of several common anti-epileptic drugs.

Conclusion: Gut Lactobacillus populations in untreated epileptic dogs are similar to those of healthy dogs from the same household. Treatment with anti-epileptic drugs is unlikely to be a confounding factor in future studies on the role of Lactobacillus bacteria in canine epilepsy.


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