Degenerative myelopathy is a neurodegenerative condition that causes paralysis in older dogs. The disease is associated with a genetic mutation that causes a protein called superoxide dismutase (SOD1) to accumulate within nerve cells, ultimately causing death of the cell. In a small targeted clinical trial of four dogs diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, researchers will evaluate the safety of a novel gene silencing treatment to help prevent the buildup of SOD1. This study is a critical step before launching a larger clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of this novel treatment for this fatal disease. Identifying a safe and effective treatment for degenerative myelopathy will have an immediate impact for affected dogs and possibly open doors to other new therapies using the novel gene silencing technology.
Grant amount awarded
North Carolina State University
Natasha J Olby, VetMB, PhD
Neurology (Brain and Spinal Cord)