Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy (JIE)
In collaboration with Dr. Monica Aleman here at UC Davis and Dr. Tatiana Vinardell at the Qatar Foundation Equine Veterinary Medical Center, the Finno Lab is investigating the genetic mutation that causes Juvenile Idiopathic Epilepsy (JIE). JIE is a heritable form of epilepsy that has only been documented in the Egyptian Arabian breed. The condition’s mode of inheritance is autosomal dominant, but the genetic variant is still unknown. Identifying this mutation in the horse genome will help improve strategic breeding programs.
JIE is characterized by recurrent, tonic-clonic seizures in Egyptian Arabian foals. Age of onset is about 2 months and foals outgrow the condition at around 1 year old. Complications associated with the seizures include head injury and aspiration pneumonia. Any lasting problems are usually due to head trauma. Today, definitive diagnosis requires the use of an electroencephalogram, which must be performed by a veterinary specialist. A genetic test would allow owners access to a simpler and less-costly diagnostic method.
Are you concerned that your horse may have JIE? Contact our lab for more information on how you can aid in equine genetic research.