Canine degenerative myelopathy (CDM) is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the spinal cord of dogs. The condition is progressive, has no treatment, and often results in euthanasia within six to nine months of diagnosis. Conventional MRI can't detect the lesions caused by CDM which makes the disease challenging to diagnose and monitor. An advanced MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging has been successful at detecting microscopic lesions in diseased spinal cords in humans, and researchers will see if this technique also is capable of detecting spinal cord lesions caused by degenerative myelopathy in dogs. In addition to providing a much-needed diagnostic tool, this technique will provide a way to monitor lesions for future studies assessing new drug therapies for dogs with this devastating disease.
Grant amount awarded
Philippa J. Johnson, BVSc
Neurology (Brain and Spinal Cord)