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Neurodegeneration and Regeneration in Canine CNS Diseases

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Dogs play an important role in veterinary medicine. Of all veterinary relevant species, the dog is most frequently presented with neurological symptoms in veterinary practice. Due to this fact, this field deserves further studies, and new approaches with respect to research and therapy are strongly required.

 

Therefore, the aim of this Research Unit is to obtain new scientific knowledge in a defined field of biomedical science for canine species. The research focuses on the pathogenesis of regenerative and degenerative processes in the canine central nervous system (CNS) and possible therapeutical approaches being deduced from it. Numerous dog diseases bear a resemblance to human diseases. Hence, the expected results are of particular importance for a better understanding of human brain diseases.

 

In the present study the mainly scheduled pathogenetical examinations of regenerative and degenerative processes in the CNS will be conducted on three selected, commonly occurring canine diseases: canine distemper, traumatic lesions of the spinal cord, and epilepsy.

 

Canine distemper is a viral infection resulting in neuropathological changes which are mostly in accordance with lesions seen in human multiple sclerosis.

As in humans, traumatic lesions of the spinal cord in dogs represent a frequently observed consequence of intervertebral disc prolapse.

In dogs as well as in humans, epilepsy ranks among the most common chronic neurological disorders. It often develops after brain insults such as injuries, inflammation, febrile convulsions or tumours.

 

Upcoming questions and formulated hypotheses shall be answered and tested by means of studies in dogs, tissue cultures and rodent models. The interdisciplinary Research Unit, composed of experts from the fields of veterinary medicine, biology and human medicine, provides a unique comparative study of (a) degenerative processes and (b) regenerative potential in the canine CNS as well as (c) development of novel therapeutical approaches.

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Research group members
Coordinator:
Assistant Coordinator
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