DOG EPILEPSY RESEARCH
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Epilepsy is a group of neurological diseases which are characterized by a tendency for recurrent epileptic seizures. They are also the most common neurological disorders in dogs. The clinical signs of seizures and their causes can vary considerably between individuals and breeds.
Epilepsy often runs in families. A small percentage of hereditary epilepsies are caused by a single gene, whereas the majority are complex diseases caused by the interaction of multiple genes and environmental factors.
The various clinical signs and heterogeneity in the genetic background make epilepsy a very diverse disease. This makes research into epilepsy difficult. For example, only a few genes related to epilepsy in dogs have been discovered so far.
In order to raise dog epilepsy research to the next level, large high-quality data sets are needed. Collecting this kind of data is not possible without international collaboration. To solve this issue, the Canine Epilepsy and Dyskinesia Consortium was established in 2020. A list of active consortium members can be found via this link.
Our aim is to collect the largest data related to dog epilepsy in the world, and to:
1. Examine the prevalence and clinical signs of epilepsy in different dog breeds around the world, and
2. Discover epilepsy causing genes.
Our goal is to gain a better understanding of epilepsy and through this, to develop the diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Genetic research into epilepsy can also contribute to the development of breeding tools in the future.
All dogs who have had signs suggestive of epilepsy can participate in the study.
1. You can participate by answering the Epilepsy and Dyskinesia Survey.
You can access the survey via this link. Among other things, the survey assesses clinical signs during seizures, possible causes of the disease and possible veterinary examinations.
2. If you also want to participate in the genetic studies, send a sample of your dog to the Canine Genetics Lab at the University of Minnesota.
At the moment, we are recruiting more dogs to take part in our Labrador Retriever study. The primary location for this research study is the University of Helsinki, under the direction of Dr. Hannes Lohi. The University of Minnesota is assisting with this research by providing a collection point for samples within the US.
Detailed instructions for sending a sample can be found via this link.
The survey is located on the secure REDCap platform on the University of Helsinki server. To answer the survey, you do not need to provide any information about yourself other than your email address. If you want to participate in the genetic studies, we also need your name as well as the official name and registration number of your dog.
By answering the survey, you agree that the information you provide will be used for scientific research. No information will be released outside the research consortium.