Epilepsy Research

!!Attention help needed (especially Nordic Country members – but anyone able to help in Europe would be appreciated).!!

A genetic research team in Finland has had some promising initial results on Labradors in identifying genetics risk factors for epilepsy and paraxymal dyskinesia. They are now seeking blood samples and a comprehensive questionnaire completed by owners of dogs diagnosed with epilepsy or paraxymal dyskinesia.

Since epilepsy is evident within our vulnerable breed we would appreciate it if any owners of diagnosed dogs could reach out to this team and a supply blood sample and complete the questionnaire. This will of course be easier for owners in the Nordics but please, contact the research team if you think you are in a position to help, regardless of location.

The full press release from the team is below:



We have promising preliminary results on genetic risk factors for epilepsy and paroxysmal dyskinesia in Labrador Retrievers (Canine Genetics research group led by Professor Hannes Lohi, University of Helsinki and Folkhälsan Research Center, Finland).

For the next phase of the study, we need a large number of dogs of all breeds who have been diagnosed with epilepsy or dyskinesia, or who have had symptoms suggestive of these diseases.

You can participate in the study by 31 December 2023:

1. Send a blood sample of your dog to the Canine Genetics Research Team at the University of Helsinki. More detailed instructions on how to send the sample can be found here: https://www.koirangeenit.fi/english/participate/?fbclid=IwAR0QA0T6kFHzqGsPEXteUyifqPT7Hgymgnj1_zJrDYhEATDggBt8PZBNTEM

2. Respond to the Epilepsy and Dyskinesia Survey. You can find the survey here: https://redcap.helsinki.fi/redcap/surveys/?s=CFCN9RTACF&fbclid=IwAR21MvrzfUFFLuK0Ssh16D6FeBQ6767EFlPyT0ihPlXW0LE4Ovg-Z4_TYis

The survey is located on the secure REDCap platform on the University of Helsinki server, and it takes about 20-30 minutes to respond to it. It is very important that you fill in the official/pedigree name and registration number of the dog carefully.

We can only include dogs for which we have both a blood sample and a completed survey response.

It is very important for the success of the project that we get as many participants as possible from different dog breeds. We kindly ask you to share this message with breed associations, breeders and dog owners.

Thank you very much for supporting our research!

For more information on the study:

Doctoral Researcher Tiina Heinonen, MSc, Breeding Agronomist


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *