2133: Canine Epilepsy: Genetic Variants, Biomarkers, and New Therapies

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $104,781
Ned E. Patterson, DVM, PhD; University of Minnesota
October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2015

Sponsor(s): Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc., American Belgian Tervuren Club, Inc., American Brittany Club, American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Charitable Trust, American Pointer Club, Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, Collie Health Foundation, English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association Foundation, Field Spaniel Society of America, German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America, Inc., Giant Schnauzer Club of America, Gordon Setter Club of America, Inc., Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America, Inc., Greyhound Club of America, Health & Rescue Foundation of the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America, Irish Water Spaniel Club of America, Keeshond Club of America, National Beagle Club, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Piedmont Border Collie Association, Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc., St. Bernard Club of America, Toby's Foundation, United States Australian Shepherd Association, United States Australian Shepherd Foundation, Vizsla Club of America, Inc., Vizsla Club of America Welfare Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Epilepsy Initiative
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Epilepsy is a significant seizure disorder affecting all dog breeds. It is the most common chronic nervous system disorder in dogs, with a prevalence of 0.5% - 5.7%, resulting in approximately 2 million affected dogs in the USA. We have assembled a trans-disciplinary team to attempt to improve the fate of dogs that have epilepsy with a special emphasis on dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy. Dog with drug-resistant epilepsy have frequent seizures even when on 2 or more anti-epileptic drugs. The team includes Veterinarians, Canine Geneticists, Pharmacologists, Human Neurologists, Basic Scientists and Biomedical Engineers from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Pharmacy, Institute for Engineering in Medicine, and Departments of Neurology and Surgery, and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Under the guidance of Dr. Ned Patterson, the collaborative group proposes to evaluate traditional DNA genetic markers, blood biomarkers called microRNAs (miRNAs), and potential new drugs for the emergency treatment of seizures in dogs. In phase 1 of Dr. Patterson's study he and his team will 1. Identify genetic markers associated with epilepsy in Australian shepherds and Vizslas, and identify markers associated with epileptic dogs that are unresponsive to anti-epileptic drug therapy in order to develop genetic screening tests in phase 2; 2. Document microRNA levels in the blood of dogs with epilepsy in order to develop potential blood markers that vary between epileptic and non-epileptic dogs, and dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy; and 3. Perform initial testing of two new potential drugs for the emergency treatment of canine epilepsy.


Vuu, I., Coles, L. D., Maglalang, P., Leppik, I. E., Worrell, G., Crepeau, D., … Patterson, E. E.  (2016). Intravenous Topiramate: Pharmacokinetics in Dogs with Naturally Occurring Epilepsy. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 3. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2016.00107

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