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Serum Neurofilament Light Chain as a Biomarker in Dogs with Seizures

Purpose

To measure Neurofilament light chain (NfL), a neuronal structural protein, to help assess seizure control and differentiate seizures from similar appearing neurologic episodes.

Background

Neurofilament light chain (NfL) helps the neurological system function properly by promoting the growth of an important part of neural cells. Measuring NfL after neuronal injury is commonly used in humans to gauge disease severity and the effectiveness of treatment in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Our study is assessing NfL serum and cerebrospinal fluid concentrations in dogs with seizures. In the future, this measurement may be useful in assessing seizure control and telling seizures apart from similar appearing neurologic episodes.

Eligibility

We are enrolling two groups of dogs:

  1. Dogs who have experienced a seizure in the last 5 days.
  2. Dogs with well-controlled idiopathic epilepsy.

Exclusion

  • Dogs should not have any neurologic signs on their exam unrelated to post-ictal changes

Study Design

After the dog’s owner signs the client consent form, we will collect a small blood sample. Results of the analysis are for research only and are not shared with owners. The blood draw will typically be performed as part of routine clinical care, so we do not anticipate any additional risk or discomfort for enrolled dogs.

Compensation

There is no compensation for participation. We hope that the results of the study will help in the diagnosis and treatment of future dogs with seizures.

Contact

Dr. Kayla Fowler, Neurology Resident
Phone: 540-231-4621

Mindy Quigley, Clinical Trials Coordinator
Office Phone: 540-231-1363 | Email: vettrials@vt.edu

If your query is urgent, please call the Small Animal Hospital on 540-231-4621.

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