Navigation path

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece


This page was published on 17/04/2012
Published: 17/04/2012

   Health & life sciences

Published: 17 April 2012  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Health & life sciencesGenomics  |  Medical research
Research policySeventh Framework Programme
Add to PDF "basket"

Epilepsy gene in dogs found

Researchers in Europe and the United States have identified a novel epilepsy gene for idiopathic epilepsy in Belgian Shepherds in the canine chromosome 37. Presented in the PLoS ONE journal, the findings fuel our understanding of the genetic background of the most common canine epilepsies, and provide insight into common epilepsies in humans. The study was funded in part by the LUPA ('Unravelling the molecular basis of common complex human disorders using the dog as a model system') project, which is backed under the 'Health' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to the tune of EUR 12 million.

Belgian Shepherd © Shutterstock
Belgian Shepherd
©  Shutterstock

A set of chronic neurological disorders characterised by seizures, epilepsy affects the lives of around 1–5% of the human population at some point in their lives. Experts say epilepsy is characterised by various syndromes, causes, prognosis and the age of patients. Based on their basic mechanisms, epilepsy syndromes are split into genetic (idiopathic) epilepsies, structural/metabolic (symptomatic) epilepsies and epilepsies of unknown cause.

Led by the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Institute of Genetics in Finland, researchers from Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the United States compared the genome of dogs with epilepsy and healthy control dogs and identified a gene region in chromosome 37, which is linked to the most common form of canine epilepsy.

Up to 40% of patients with epilepsy can trace their diagnosis to genetic factors. If the specific gene region is homozygous, the risk of suffering from epilepsy is seven times greater. The researchers also suggest that other, still unknown, genetic risk factors may be present in the breed.

The type of epilepsy affecting Belgian Shepherds is very common in other breeds as well. So this discovery could improve our knowledge about epilepsies in different dog breeds.

'There are only few genes in the identified region and I believe that the ongoing analyses will help us to discover the specific epilepsy gene,' says Professor Hannes Lohi of the University of Helsinki, senior author of the study. 'This would give us a better understanding of the disease mechanisms and provide us with new diagnostic tools for the disease.'

Commenting on the study, lead author Dr Eija Seppälä of the University of Helsinki says: 'The identified genomic region is likely to be the strongest single risk factor for epilepsy in Belgian Shepherds, and we are studying an interesting gene variant causing an amino acid change in the protein level. However, this homozygous amino acid change is also present in one fifth of healthy Belgian Shepherds. The research continues in the breed and aims to identify the specific mutation for genetic testing in this loci and possibly in other chromosomes. The need for the gene test is urgent since as much as 20% of the dogs in this breed are estimated to have epilepsy.'

Idiopathic epilepsy in Belgian Shepherds appears at around three years of age.


Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also

University of Helsinki
PLoS ONE





  Top   Research Information Center
 
Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
  Georgia
  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece