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Clinical characteristics and mode of inheritance of familial focal seizures in Standard Poodles

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  • 1 Department of Psychology, Office of the Vice President for Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306
  • | 2 Department of Statistics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210
  • | 3 College of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Center for Biostatistics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210
  • | 4 Department of Psychology, Office of the Vice President for Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306
  • | 5 Department of Psychology, Office of the Vice President for Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306
  • | 6 College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Laboratory Animal Resources, Office of the Vice President for Research, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306
  • | 7 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • | 8 Department of Statistics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210
  • | 9 MMI Genomics Inc, 1756 Picasso Ave, Davis, CA 95618

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical characteristics and mode of inheritance of seizures in a family of Standard Poodles.

Design—Case series.

Animals—90 Standard Poodles descended from the same maternal bloodline (30 with probable idiopathic epilepsy [PIE] and 60 without any history of seizures).

Procedures—Researchers contacted owners to determine whether dogs had ever had any seizures and, if so, the nature of any such seizures and any potential underlying causes. Dogs were considered to have PIE if they were between 6 months and 7.5 years old at the time of seizure onset and had no evidence of any underlying cause. To determine the mode of inheritance, segregation analyses were designed to allow the family to be analyzed as a whole, as opposed to as nuclear families. Competing models of inheritance were compared statistically for their ability to explain the data.

Results—Of the dogs with PIE, 28 (93%) had focal onset seizures with or without secondary generalization. Median age of onset was 3.7 years; 6 dogs were > 5 years old at the onset of seizures. Segregation analyses strongly suggested that PIE was inherited as a simple recessive autosomal trait with complete or almost complete penetrance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that in this family of Standard Poodles, PIE was inherited as a simple recessive autosomal trait with complete or almost complete penetrance. Seizures often had focal, as opposed to generalized, onsets, and it was not uncommon for seizures to begin after 5 years of age.

Abstract

Objective—To determine clinical characteristics and mode of inheritance of seizures in a family of Standard Poodles.

Design—Case series.

Animals—90 Standard Poodles descended from the same maternal bloodline (30 with probable idiopathic epilepsy [PIE] and 60 without any history of seizures).

Procedures—Researchers contacted owners to determine whether dogs had ever had any seizures and, if so, the nature of any such seizures and any potential underlying causes. Dogs were considered to have PIE if they were between 6 months and 7.5 years old at the time of seizure onset and had no evidence of any underlying cause. To determine the mode of inheritance, segregation analyses were designed to allow the family to be analyzed as a whole, as opposed to as nuclear families. Competing models of inheritance were compared statistically for their ability to explain the data.

Results—Of the dogs with PIE, 28 (93%) had focal onset seizures with or without secondary generalization. Median age of onset was 3.7 years; 6 dogs were > 5 years old at the onset of seizures. Segregation analyses strongly suggested that PIE was inherited as a simple recessive autosomal trait with complete or almost complete penetrance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that in this family of Standard Poodles, PIE was inherited as a simple recessive autosomal trait with complete or almost complete penetrance. Seizures often had focal, as opposed to generalized, onsets, and it was not uncommon for seizures to begin after 5 years of age.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Luo's present address is the Division of Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Dr. Sullivan's present address is the Animal Specialty Group, 4641 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039.

Dr. Fernandez's present address is the Division of Biostatistics, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

Supported by the Florida State University Albrecht Epilepsy Research Fund; Versatility in Poodles Incorporated; grant No. 1407 from the Poodle Club of America and AKC Canine Health Foundation Incorporated; and private donations. The contents of this manuscript are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any funding group.

Presented in part as a poster at the Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, Boston, December 2003.

Address correspondence to Dr. Barbara Licht.