Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Dogs' DNA May Aid Research on Hereditary Parkinson's

Dogs' DNA May Aid Research on Hereditary Parkinson's

04/22/11

FRIDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The same gene mutation that causes a fatal neurological disease in Tibetan Terrier dogs also causes a hereditary form of Parkinson's disease in humans, a new study reports.

This finding, which was aided using the DNA of a Tibetan Terrier named Topper, could one day lead to a treatment for early-onset Parkinson's, according to the University of Missouri researchers.

When Topper reached the age of about 5 years, he began to show signs of behavioral changes, such as increased shyness. Soon after, he began to lose muscle control and then developed what his owner described as "terrible" seizures. After Topper was euthanized, his DNA was studied.

The investigators were able to use Topper's DNA to identify the gene mutation that causes adult-onset neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (NCL) in Tibetan Terriers.

While the mutation causes NCL in these dogs, it also causes a hereditary form of Parkinson's disease in humans, the researchers say.

The findings mean that Tibetan Terriers can be tested for the gene mutation to prevent them from passing it to the next generation. It also may be possible to use dogs with the gene mutation to test experimental treatments for Parkinson's disease in humans, the researchers pointed out in the report published in the June issue of the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

"Dogs and people suffer from the same diseases, and it's much easier to discover gene issues in dogs because of the unique genetics of pure-bred dogs," Dennis OBrien, a professor in the veterinary medicine and surgery department, said in a university news release. "Because we have a medical school and veterinary school near each other, we can find the genes in the dog and then find out if they cause a similar disease in people."

Other symptoms that show up in Tibetan Terriers with the gene mutation, usually around age 5, include dementia, vision problems, loss of coordination and unprovoked aggression.

More information

We Move has more about Parkinson's disease.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >