AKC Canine Health Foundation Marks Epilepsy Awareness Month
Sharon M. Albright, DVM, CCRT
Manager of Communications & Veterinary Outreach
AKC Canine Health Foundation
For Immediate Release
RALEIGH, NC (November 1, 2021) - The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization committed to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners, marks Epilepsy Awareness Month this November with over $375,000 in newly awarded canine epilepsy research grants.
Epilepsy is the most common medical neurologic disease in dogs. Despite appropriate treatment, it is estimated that 30% of affected dogs continue to have seizures, and many experience adverse effects from anti-seizure medications. To improve quality of life for affected dogs and their owners, CHF and its donors have invested more than $2.8 million since 1995 to study canine epilepsy. This includes the following research grants newly awarded in 2021:
Grant 02940: Investigating neuronal network connectivity in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy using functional magnetic resonance imaging
Principal Investigator: Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology); North Carolina State University
A study to evaluate blood flow and brain activity in functionally connected regions of the brain in epileptic dogs.
Grant 02936: Validating genetic variants underlying canine idiopathic epilepsy and exploring their functional roles in the Belgian Sheepdog and Tervuren
Principal Investigator: Anita M. Oberbauer, PhD; University of California, Davis
Research into the genetic variations associated with idiopathic epilepsy and the functional changes associated with them.
Grant 02931: Assessment of frequency of seizures and antiseizure drug (ASD) efficacy by electroencephalography (EEG) for dogs with epilepsy
Principal Investigator: Fiona James, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology); University of Guelph
A study to evaluate the number and type of seizures and the effects of anti-seizure drugs in epileptic dogs using electroencephalography (EEG).
Grant 02930: A dose finding study of cannabidiol in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy
Principal Investigator: Stephanie McGrath, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology); Colorado State University
A clinical trial to determine the dose, safety, and tolerability of CBD for seizure reduction in dogs with refractory epilepsy.
“Epilepsy has a profound impact on the lives of affected dogs and their owners,” says Mary O. Smith, BVM&S, PhD, DACVIM (Neurology), CHF Board Vice Chairman and board-certified veterinary neurologist. “Promising new treatments are being studied with CHF funding. Genetic studies also are underway to identify dogs at risk of developing epilepsy, to inform breeding decisions, and to identify new treatment targets. CHF and its donors are committed to supporting this innovative research.”
Through CHF’s Epilepsy Research Initiative, ongoing research and educational outreach will improve our understanding of canine epilepsy and lead to the development of more effective treatments. Findings may also benefit people affected by epilepsy. Learn more about CHF’s epilepsy research at www.akcchf.org/epilepsy.
# # #
Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $62.5 million in funding to date, the Foundation provides grants for the highest quality canine health research and shares information on the discoveries that help prevent, treat and cure canine diseases. The Foundation meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at www.akcchf.org.
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.