Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy (JIE)

In collaboration with Dr. Monica Aleman, our lab is investigating the genetic causes of Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy (JIE) in a specific subpopulation of Arabian horses, Egyptian Arabian foals. JIE is heritable with an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, yet, the genetic cause is unknown. The disease is especially detrimental to the horse industry due to life threatening complications including head injury and aspiration pneumonia. Identifying genetic causes will help to improve strategic breeding programs and prevent financial burdens of expensive antiepileptic costs.

Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy is characterized by seizures in the first year of life in Egyptian Arabian foals. Complications associated with seizures include head injury and aspiration pneumonia. After affected foals reach a year of age, the symptoms are no longer present. Any lasting problems are often due to head trauma. Diagnosis requires the use of an electroencephalogram.

Are you concerned that your horse may have JIE? Contact our lab for more information on how you can aid in equine genetic research.