What's Feeding Those Seizures? An Update on Refractory Canine Epilepsy and the Potential Link to Gastrointestinal Health
Presenter: Karen R. Muñana, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology)
Approximately one-third of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy fail to achieve satisfactory seizure control
with antiepileptic medication, and are considered to have refractory epilepsy. These dogs are at
greater risk of disease-related complications and death associated with their uncontrolled seizures.
The mechanisms that lead to refractory epilepsy remain poorly understood. However, there is increasing
evidence to suggest that an important interaction exists between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain -
the so called microbiota-gut-brain axis – that is vital for maintaining homeostasis of the nervous system
and can influence susceptibility to disease.
This 45 minute webinar will include discussion of refractory epilepsy in dogs, with a review of its clinical
characteristics and our current understanding of the mechanisms that can result in drug resistant seizures.
The concept of the microbiota-gut-brain axis will also be introduced, and evidence presented to demonstrate
the role that the gastrointestinal system plays in the development and progression of epilepsy and other
neurological disorders in humans. Finally, published information on the link between the gastrointestinal tract
and epilepsy in dogs will be reviewed, and future directions for research explored.