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  • Gabapentin trial
    be administered every 6 hours efficacy has been demonstrated with three times daily dosing Contrary to the situation in humans gabapentin is metabolised by the liver in dogs which puts this species at risk of hepatotoxicity especially when gabapentin is administered with phenobarbital however this has not yet been documented In a study of 11 dogs 45 demonstrated improved seizure control with success based upon a 50 reduction in seizure frequency The study included 11 dogs with refractory idiopathic epilepsy showing generalised tonic clonic seizures Underlying causes were investigated using CSF tap and MRI examination of the brain All of the dogs were receiving a combination of phenobarbital and KBr and had therapeutic serum concentrations of these drugs Each dog received oral gabapentin for a minimum of three months at an initial dose of 10 mg kg q 8 hours Five dogs showed a significant reduction in seizure frequency ie seizures reduced to less than 50 per week However many dogs still exhibited multiple days on which there was cluster seizure activity Gabapentin was well tolerated five dogs exhibited mild side effects ataxia and sedation One dog developed sterile panniculitis after 18 months but this resolved following cessation of gabapentin

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/gabapentin-trial.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Zonisamide trial
    von Klopmann and others 2007 evaluated the efficacy of zonisamide as add on to conventional anticonvulsant therapy in dogs with refractory epilepsy In this study refractory epilepsy was defined as a lack of sufficient response to phenobarbital and or potassium bromide treatment despite therapeutic serum levels of one or both of these drugs Zonisamide was administered as add on therapy at a dosage of 10mg kg body weight BID PO Matsumoto and others 1983 Walker and others 1988 Boothe and others 2005 Saito and others 2005 Serum samples were collected from the dogs in the study at different time points following zonisamide administration and serum concentrations of drug were measured The reference for zonisamide ranged from 10 to 40 µg ml Matsumoto and others 1983 Walker and others 1988 Mild side effects were noticed by the owners in six dogs after starting zonisamide therapy such as ataxia and sedation Zonisamide is a sulphonamide based anticonvulsant drug Although not yet reported clinicians should be aware of potential side effects similar to those associated with other sulphonamides The frequency and duration of seizures as well as seizure severity decreased in most of the dogs in this study following zonisamide administration The high number dogs responding at least a 50 reduction in seizures frequency indicates a beneficial effect of zonisamide in refractory cases Due to good seizure control in seven dogs a reduction of previous anticonvulsant therapy phenobarbital potassium bromide was possible without subsequent impairment of seizure control In several animals this led to a reduction in side effects and an improved quality of life In one dog a Border collie dose reduction of conventional anticonvulsants resulted in a reduction of sedation so that breed typical behaviour was displayed again In a subgroup of the responder dogs an impairment of seizure control subsequently occurred This loss of efficacy after an initial good response has been described for several drugs and has also been shown for zonisamide in rats Hamada and others 2001 The use of zonisamide is limited by its high costs and that it is not available in some countries In the United States a generic form of active ingredient is available however there are no published studies describing the use of this formulation in dogs Further studies are warranted to evaluate the development of functional tolerance leading to a kind of honey moon effect in zonisamide add on therapy and the efficacy of zonisamide as monotherapy References Black V Garosi L Lowrie M Harvey RJ Gale J 2013 Phenotypic characterisation of canine epileptoid cramping syndrome in the Border terrier JSAP 2013 Dec 26 e pub before print doi 10 1111 jsap 12170 PMID 24372194 PubMed Boothe D M Perkins J Dewey C 2005 Clinical pharmacokinetics and safety of the anticonvulsant zonisamide in healthy dogs following single and multiple dosing Proceedings of the 23rd ACVIM forum Baltimore USA p 858 Budsberg S C 2004 Zonisamide therapy for refractory idiopathic epilepsy in dogs Journal of the AmericanAnimalHospital Association 40 285 291 Dewey C

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/zonisamide-trial.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Animal DNA archive
    Animal DNA archive boosts veterinary research A unique archive of animal DNA has been established at the University of Liverpool as part of a new research venture by UK Veterinary schools and the Animal Health Trust The UK DNA Companion Animal Archive in the Faculty of Veterinary Science contains DNA samples taken with owners consent from cats dogs and horses with a range of specific diseases The samples will be used by researchers to investigate genetic and environmental factors that pre dispose animals to certain diseases The archive represents a major step forward in veterinary research and both clinical data and DNA samples will be available to researchers in the veterinary field They will be able to use the genetic material to identify the causes of complex genetic diseases of companion animals in an attempt to eradicate certain diseases and develop new treatments The animal DNA will also aid research into human genetic studies as many genes are common to other mammalian species and humans The archive will enable researchers to determine both the environmental factors and the genes which interact together to cause diseases such as renal disease in cats and sarcoid in horses This will enable vets to

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/animal-dna-archive.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Dog epilepsy gene
    the visual field Many dogs also develop epilepsy The myoclonus and seizures may worsen with time and older dogs may become blind and uncoordinated compelling the owner to euthanasia There is a more severe version of the disease in other breeds for which the mutation is yet to be found The research team at the University of Toronto previously discovered two genes for the human disease The first EPM2A encodes the protein laforin which helps to protect normal mammals against the formation of starch compounds in the brain The second is EPM2B NHLRC1 a gene which encodes malin E3 ubiquitin ligase How this protein normally involved in protein destruction and recycling is integral to Lafora disease is still an important puzzle The principal finding of the current research is that dogs are predisposed to developing a mutation in the Epm2b gene This predilection has stemmed from two evolutionary events one 60 million years ago when canoids and felines diverged and the other between 50 and 10 million years ago when canoids diverged into canids dogs wolves etc and arctoids bears and related carnivores The predisposition is in the form of a 12 nucleotide sequence repeated three times in the dog Epm2b gene This repeat tends to expand once in a while which destroys the gene This is not a problem in a large gene pool however when the mutation becomes frequent e g because of a historically popular breeding dog s then the chance of two destroyed copies of the gene increases Absence of Epm2b then results in LD In the UK more than 5 of miniature wirehaired dachshunds have the disease and the carrier rate is probably close to 25 This discovery can now help lovers of this breed to eliminate the disease by being able to diagnose carrier and affected dogs This discovery is also important for developing successful treatment of Lafora disease in both dogs and humans The research team do not plan to experiment on dogs however the veterinary and medical teams are learning from some successful experiences in treatment of seizures in the dogs and applying them to humans and vice versa The study appears in the 7 January 2005 issue of the journal Science Any further enquires please feel free to contact Clare Rusbridge Stone Lion Veterinary Centre 41 High Street Wimbledon Tel 020 8946 4228 Email neuro vet btinternet com Sue Fitzmaurice Wey Referrals Woking Surrey GU21 5BP UK Email brainVet aol com Dr Berge Minassian Division of Neurology Department of Pediatrics Department of Genetics Room 6536B Hospital for Sick Children 555 University Ave Toronto Ontario M5G 1X8 Canada Tel 416 813 629 Email bminass yahoo ca References Alves L Hülsmeyer V Jaggy A Fischer A Leeb T Drögemüller M 2011 Polymorphisms in the ABCB1 gene in phenobarbital responsive and resistant idiopathic epileptic Border Collies J Vet Intern Med 2011 May Jun 25 3 484 9 doi 10 1111 j 1939 1676 2011 0718 x Epub 2011 Apr 12 PubMed Berendt M Gulløv

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/dog-epilepsy-gene.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Lafora disease research
    a protein involved with carbohydrate metabolism Early data suggests that these proteins safeguard neurons against accumulating too many carbohydrates A characteristic feature of the disease is accumulation of toxic starch like material polyglucosan within cells particularly nervous hepatic and muscle tissue Lafora disease has an autosomal recessive inheritance i e both the sire and the dam will either carry i e have no signs of the disease and have one copy of the abnormal gene or have the disease Diagnosis In the miniature wire haired Dachshund and Basset Hound the disease causing genetic mutation has been identified however at the present time no commercial DNA blood test exists The disease may be diagnosed by identification of the Lafora bodies in a liver muscle or nerve biopsy Differential diagnosis The main differential diagnoses are other causes of seizures and idiopathic epilepsy Haematology and biochemistry should be performed to rule out reactive causes of epileptic seizures Magnetic resonance imaging is useful to identify structural brain disease which may cause acquired epilepsy Idiopathic epilepsy typically occurs in younger dogs 6 months 6 years and in most breeds myoclonus is not a feature Hematology biochemistry Urinalysis Normal Other Laboratory tests Lafora bodies may be identified in a liver muscle or nerve The liver is the most reliable biopsy site Magnetic resonance imaging Normal Treatment Anecdotally Miniature Wirehaired Dachshunds with early Lafora s disease respond to a proprietary antioxidant rich diet Hills b d Hills b d has been shown to protect nerve cells against oxidative damage however this may not be the mechanism by which it is effective for Lafora disease as the same beneficial effect is not seen if the dog is maintained on the existing diet and supplemented with anti oxidants It is possible that Hills b d is effective because it has a low glycaemic index Starchy sugary treats may aggravate the condition and should be avoided Other diets with a low glycaemic index may be effective Epilepsy should be treated symptomatically In some cases this can be difficult as some dogs do not respond to traditional drugs like phenobarbital The author typically starts with potassium bromide at 30 40mg kg once daily A serum bromide concentration should be assessed 8 16 weeks after initiating the drug it takes 4 months to achieve steady state so ideally 16 weeks aiming for a concentration of 1000mg l 15 mmol l 2000mg l 25mmol l Higher serum concentrations are acceptable if there are no adverse effects e g sedation and ataxia If this concentration has been achieved and the number of seizures is still unacceptable then phenobarbital at 3mg kg every 12 hours should be added Phenobarbitone should also be considered if there are clusters of seizures A serum phenobarbital concentration should be assessed 2 weeks after initiating the drug If the seizures are still not adequately controlled when the phenobarbital serum concentration is 25mg l 120μmol l then switching to an unlicensed anti epileptic drug should be considered The author typically chooses

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/lafora-disease-research.html (2016-02-08)
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  • CECS research
    reflect abnormal activity in the central nervous system e g a seizure or episodic dyskinesia or a primary muscle disease resulting in increased tone The condition may be related to Hepatic Microvascular Dysplasia as affected dogs do have patches of HMVD however the degree of HMVD is not related to the severity of signs Diagnosis Diagnosis is usually based on history and clinical signs it can be very useful for client to make video of an episode so that veterinarian can see the signs Routine blood screens are usually all normal A bile acid stimulation test should be performed to rule out microvascular disorders as these may have similar presentation and occur in similar breeds To accelerate the discovery of a causative gene s owners of all CECS dogs are encouraged to submit blood for DNA to the University of Missouri s Canine Epilepsy Network to be used in research into the cause of the disease Differential diagnosis Differential diagnosis to be considered include Epilepsy Microvascular disorders Back pain Irritable bowel syndrome for abdominal form Treatment Diazepam or chlorazepate can be given to alleviate cramps and buscopam may help intestinal cramping Some dogs respond well to hypoallergenic or gluten free diets and may become asymptomatic Further information Investigation is being carried out at department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals at the Utrecht University the Netherlands If you have a dog with this condition a questionnaire can be completed at http www uu nl faculty veterinarymedicine nl dierenklinieken ukg dierenarts onderw onderz onderzoek neurologie krampaanvallen2 Pages default aspx Information taken from article provided to Vetstream by Denis O Brien University of Missour Vets at Davies Veterinary Specialists are looking for Border terriers with suspected canine epileptoid cramping syndrome and Scottie dogs with suspected Scottie cramp to take part ina study

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/cecs-research.html (2016-02-08)
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  • Literature Review
    reviewed literature to support these claims Acupuncture There are a number of published studies showing some benefits of acupuncture as an adjunctive treatment for epilepsy in man and animals The reports of successful use in dogs have been sporadic Van Niekerk J 1988 van Neikerk and Eckersley 1988 Janssesns 1993 Panzert and Chrisman 1994 In 1993 Janssens reported the use of ear acupuncture in the treatment of eleven dogs with longstanding epilepsy The summary of the results looks encouraging However of the 4 dogs reported to be seizure free for between 13 and 24 months after treatment one was seizure free on anticonvulsant therapy before treatment and although the 3 others had reduced seizure frequency after treatment seizure interval in one was sufficiently long for this effect to be a coincidence Improvement defined as reduced dose of medication or reduced seizure frequency was reported in 3 other dogs a further 2 possibly showed less severe signs and in 2 there was no response The author concluded that the results were encouraging and should be tested in a larger group of patients A new canine auricular acupuncture point for the treatment for epilepsy was studied by Panzert and Chrisman in 1994 The new acupoint was used with a previously reported canine auricular acupoint van Neikerk and Eckersley 1988 for the treatment of epilepsy in five dogs This study reported testimonial evidence only but concluded that the technique is worthy of scientific investigation and controlled research is proposed Since that time the work does not appear to have continued at least follow up results are not reported Permanent acupuncture has been advocated as an adjunct to conventional therapies for the management of epilepsy in man This involves the implantation of gold beads at sites of acupuncture points under anaesthesia Some extreme claims are made for this treatment in dogs up to 60 of epileptic dogs are cured with little supportive published data In one published study from the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Klide and others 1987 five epileptic dogs unresponsive to high levels of antiepileptic medication were treated at the acupuncture clinic Small gold implants were placed subcutaneously over the calvaria to provide constant stimulation at specific acupuncture points All five dogs showed a change in seizure patterns following gold implant placement Two dogs had decreases in seizure frequency with their medication continued unchanged but reverted to their previous seizure pattern approximately five months after treatment Three dogs continued to have decreased numbers of seizures and were maintained on decreased levels of anticonvulsants The data from these reports is difficult to interpret due to the lack of a comparable control population It would however seem that provided it is used as an adjunctive to conventional therapy under veterinary control acupuncture may offer a safe alternative to other unlicensed treatments Vagal nerve stimulation A novel idea in the management of human epilepsy is the use of vagal nerve stimulation VNS The vagal nerve is unique among peripheral nerves of the

    Original URL path: http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/literature-review.html (2016-02-08)
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