Mapping Microstructural Myelin and Axonal Damage in Dogs with Idiopathic Epilepsy using Diffusion MRI and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Sample Type: Clinical Study
Study Location: Cornell University
CHF-funded Grant: 03036-A

Epilepsy in dogs is a common and debilitating condition. Currently standard MRI techniques are often unable to identify the underlying cause for the seizures. Here at the Johnson lab we have adapted advanced MRI scanning techniques, commonly used in humans, to evaluate the brain of the dog. This project aims to use these techniques to evaluate the brain of dogs with drug resistant epilepsy.

Goals: The goal of AKC Canine Health Foundation Grant #3036-A is to improve our ability to identify lesions in the brain of dogs with drug resistant epilepsy. Dogs enrolled in this project will undergo a full neurological evaluation, blood analysis, examination of their brain using an advanced MRI scan. Owners will receive full reports of their dog’s neurological status and MRI findings.

Eligibility: Your dog must:

  1. Be aged between 1 and 6 years of age
  2. Weigh between 7-50kg
  3. Have a standard skull conformation. Unfortunately we are unable to include brachycephalic breeds at this stage.
  4. Have a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy confirmed by a specialist veterinary neurologist. We will require you to provide your dog’s medical history.
  5. Be classified as having drug resistance. This means that they continue to seizure (> 1 seizure/month) while being on treatment of a minimum of two appropriate anti-epileptic drugs.
  6. Be normal between seizures with no evidence of concurrent or systemic disease or illness.

Compensation: There is no cost to you to participate in this study.

Owner Responsibilities: You will be asked to bring your dog to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals once. You will drop your dog off in the morning and pick up in the later afternoon.

More Information


Contact Information:

Contact/Schedule an Appointment: Please contact, ideally with copies of your dog's records, to schedule an appointment.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Philippa J. Johnson

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