Investigating Neuronal Network Connectivity in Dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Sample Type: Clinical Study
Study Location: North Carolina State University
CHF-funded Grant: 02940

Idiopathic epilepsy is the most common chronic neurological disease of dogs, but its cause remains poorly understood.  There is a need to better understand the mechanism of disease in idiopathic epilepsy, if more effective management of the disease is to be achieved.  Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a noninvasive technique to evaluate brain activity and identify  connections between different regions of the brain.  Alterations in these connections have been identified in people with epilepsy, providing insight into the cause and progression of disease.  The purpose of this study is to determine whether dogs with idiopathic epilepsy have alterations in the functional connectivity of the brain on fMRI compared to neurologically normal dogs.  Results from this study will provide novel insight into the brain function of epileptic dogs, to further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying epilepsy and potentially lead to more effective management strategies. 

Participation Requirements

To be included in the study, dogs must have:
1) A history or 2 or more seizures occurring at least 24 hours apart, with an onset of seizures between
    6 months and 6 years of age.
2) A current age of 8 years or less.
3) Normal examination findings, and no cause for seizures identified on labwork.
4) Not be receiving any antiseizure drugs for at least 1 month prior to study enrollment.

Owner's Responsibilities

Owners will be required to make up to 2 visits to the NC State Veterinary Hospital. At the first visit, a detailed seizure history will be obtained from the owner, and their dog will undergo a general physical and neurological examination and blood will be collected for a complete blood count and biochemistry profile to confirm study eligibility.  Dogs determined to be eligible will be scheduled for a second visit during which the dog will undergo general anesthesia for a MRI and collection of cerebrospinal fluid.  This will be performed on an outpatient basis such that no overnight stays in the hospital will be required. All study related procedures will be performed at no cost to the owner.

Learn more about this study here.

More Information


Contact Information:

Name: Julie Nettifee
Phone: 919-513-6812

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.

Learn How to Help

Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc

8051 Arco Corporate Dr.
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Tax ID# 13-3813813


© 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.