New Epilepsy Gene Located in Dogs

A new epilepsy gene for idiopathic epilepsy in Belgian Shepherds has been discovered in the canine chromosome 37.

Professor Hannes Lohi, a lead researcher, along with his team at the University of Helsinki and the Folkhälsan Research Center, have opened up new possibilities for understanding the causes and triggers for the genetic beginnings of epilepsy in most common types of canine epilepsy conditions.

As is often the case, this ground breaking research may also have a large impact on the understanding of common epilepsies in humans.

Based on their basic mechanisms epilepsy syndromes are divided into genetic (idiopathic) epilepsies, structural / metabolic (symptomatic) epilepsies and epilepsies of unknown cause. Symptomatic causes refer to discernible external or structural change, whereas with idiopathic epilepsy there is a strong genetic background.

A common denominator between the different syndromes are reoccurring epileptic seizures, which are divided according to an international classification into two main groups — focal and generalized seizures — based on clinical symptoms and research findings.

Read more about the canine epilepsy findings…

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Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine is the the online editor at She is an experienced dog owner and professional writer who lives with her two beloved dogs, Mabel and Charlie.


  1. I have been smitten with the Belgian Shepherd for over 30 years. During that time have owned 5. My last dearest girl developed epilepsy at the age of 6. Watching your dog have a seizure is the most horrific thing to witness, and I truly hope that these current findings can one day lead to a cure for this hideous disease.

    I really believe the stress caused to her body by the many seizures she endured was the reason she suddenly died at the age of 13.

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