02566: Genetics of Idiopathic Epilepsy in Labrador Retrievers

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $108,000
Hannes T. Lohi, PhD; The Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics
May 1, 2019 - April 30, 2021

Sponsor(s): Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac, Inc., Orthopedic Foundation for Animals

Breed(s): Labrador Retriever
Research Program Area: Epilepsy Initiative
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Epilepsy is the most common neurological disease in dogs and affects most breeds. Prevalence estimates vary from 1% up to 20% depending on the breed, suggesting a genetic contribution. Despite several gene discoveries that have been made in both symptomatic and idiopathic epilepsies, the genetic background in most dog breeds remains unknown, hampering progress in diagnostics, treatment and prevention. Challenges remain in incomplete clinical diagnostics to distinguish specific syndromes and to identify true cases and controls for genetic analyses. This study will develop a multilingual user-friendly mobile application for a validated epilepsy questionnaire to harmonize global data collection of epilepsies in different breeds. The app will enable automatic categorization of the epileptic dogs based on the reported symptoms, easy data sharing and regular follow-up of the affected dogs. It will also provide an opportunity for online consultation with registered neurologists for additional seizure information and treatment options, and aid recruitment of cases and controls for genetic studies. To specifically address the genetics of epilepsy in Labrador Retrievers (LR), the investigators will analyze the genomes of >300 dogs with a very high-density genotyping array (712K SNPs) to map the epilepsy loci, and will combine this information with whole genome sequencing data. The team has set up a global research collaboration to maximize the number of epileptic and non-epileptic LR samples to further confirm promising findings from the association studies. If successful, the study will provide new tools for epilepsy diagnostics and management in LRs and potentially other breeds.

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