Welcome to the EPIDOGS project

We are a research group from Ghent University (Belgium) interested in how some dogs are able to detect imminent epileptic seizures. This is a four-year project developed by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Ghent University Hospital with the collaboration of Support Dogs and Medical Detection Dogs in the UK.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects 50 million people worldwide . It is characterised by the occurrence of seizures that, not only may cause serious physical injuries but also can affect the psychological and psychosocial wellbeing of the epilepsy patient. Although the majority of epilepsies respond to medication, one in three patients do not experience total seizure freedom and must continue to cope with the consequences and unpredictability of their seizures.

 

Some dogs seem to be able to detect when a person is about to have a seizure but the reason is still unknown. These dogs may develop a fixed behaviour that the owner can recognize and use as alert. The EPIDOGS project will look into the mechanisms behind this "alerts", with the final goal of facilitating the training of dogs to accurately predict seizures. We expect this to have a future impact on the training and acceptation of seizure alert dogs as reliable aids for people with epilepsy.

Our questionnaires are now closed.  Thank you very much to everybody that has participated!  Watch this space for information about the next stages of our research.

© 2017 Ghent University

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