Chiari Malformation and Syringomylia has been identified in several breeds and similarities and differences have yet to be investigated. The disease is characterized by overcrowding of the neural parenchyma (brain tissue) at the craniocervical junction (back of the skull and neck) and disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. The most common clinical sign is pain either as a direct consequence of CM and obstruction of CSF flow or neuropathic pain as a consequence of secondary syringomyelia. The cause of CM remains unknown but genetic factors seem to play an important role and this has been the focus of the research with Dr Clare Rusbridge and Penny Knowler. Details here
The genetic research carried out in collaboration with CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre, Montreal University. DNA has been collected from the MRI’d dogs in the UK and across the world including dogs entering a clinical research program at Georgia University. In depth genetic analysis has been performed in preparation for a Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. This is a statistical method that links two types of information—phenotypic data (trait measurements) and genotypic data (usually molecular markers) DNA from MRI scanned dog is still required by our group to enable us to continue to unravel the complex puzzle of CM and SM The monies raised by ‘Friends of Lola’ has been used to pay for MRIs or their interpretation if sent to the research team.
These are used to:
- Investigate the genetic cause of this painful disease which is critical to the welfare of the breed.
- Identify griffons with no CM important in DNA genome research to help locate the genes responsible for CM.
- Find older griffons with little or no SM to determine whether SM can be ‘late onset’ and /or is a progressive condition (appears to develop slowly over time and may not be apparent when affected dogs are younger).
- Investigate the inheritance and give breeders tools to breed away from the problem by providing information of clear lines.
Published papers in the last 3 years from knowledge gained from MRI's
1. An update on the pathogenesis of syringomyelia secondary to Chiari-like malformations in dogs
CJ Driver, HA Volk, C Rusbridge†, LM Van Ham The Veterinary Journal, 2013 1–9. doi:10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.07.014
2. Progression of otitis media with effusion in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel SJ McGuinness, EJ Friend, SP Knowler, ND Jeffery, C Rusbridge† Veterinary Record 2013
3. Caudal cranial fossa partitioning in Cavalier King Charles spanielsTA Shaw, IM McGonnell, CJ Driver, C Rusbridge†, HA Volk Veterinary Record 2013
4. Changes over time in craniocerebral morphology and syringomyelia in cavalier King Charles spaniels with Chiari-like malformation CJ Driver, L De Risio, S Hamilton, C Rusbridge†, R Dennis, IM McGonnell, HA Volk BMC veterinary research 2013 8 (1), 1-7
5. Long-term outcome of Cavalier King Charles spaniel dogs with clinical signs associated with Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia. Plessas IN, Rusbridge C†, Driver CJ, Chandler KE, Craig A, McGonnell IM, Brodbelt DC, Volk HA. Vet Rec. 2012 Nov 17;171(20):501. doi: 10.1136/vr.100449. Epub 2012 Oct 25.
6. koQuestionnaire-based behaviour analysis of Cavalier King Charles spaniels with neuropathic pain due to Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia. Rutherford L, Wessmann A, Rusbridge C†, McGonnell IM, Abeyesinghe S, Burn C, Volk HA.Vet J. 2012 Jun 25.
7. Increase in Cerebellar Volume in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with Chiari-like Malformation and Its Role in the Development of Syringomyelia. Shaw TA, McGonnell IM, Driver CJ, Rusbridge C†, Volk HA. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e33660. Epub 2012 Apr 10.
8. Effectiveness of breeding guidelines for reducing the prevalence of syringomyelia. Knowler SP, McFadyen AK, Rusbridge C #. Vet Rec. 2011 Dec 24-31;169(26):681. Epub 2011 Oct 13.
9. Distribution of substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide in the spinal cord of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels affected by symptomatic syringomyelia.Hu HZ, Rusbridge C†, Constantino-Casas F, Jeffery N. Res Vet Sci. 2011 Sep 16.
10. Histopathological Investigation of Syringomyelia in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Hu H. Z, Rusbridge C†., Constantino-Casas F, Jeffery ND, J Comp Pathol. 2012 Feb;146(2-3):192-201
11. Prevalence of asymptomatic syringomyelia in Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Parker JE, Knowler SP, Rusbridge C†, Noorman E, Jeffery ND. Veterinary Record. 2011 Jun 25;168(25):667
12. Distribution of syringomyelia along the entire spinal cord in clinically affected Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Loderstedt S, Benigni L, Chandler K, Cardwell JM, Rusbridge C†, Lamb CR, Volk HA. Vet J. 2011 Jan 7