A  A  A   Print
Mutant Gene Spurs Dangerous Heart Condition in Newfoundland Dogs: Study

Mutant Gene Spurs Dangerous Heart Condition in Newfoundland Dogs: Study

FRIDAY, Aug. 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have pinpointed a gene mutation that causes a potentially deadly heart condition in Newfoundland dogs.

The inherited condition -- called subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) -- also affects children and other dog breeds. Surgery can correct the problem in children, but not in dogs, the researchers noted.

In dogs, SAS shows up in the heart as a ridge or ring of abnormal tissue growth below the aortic valve that restricts blood flow from the heart into the aorta. The condition can cause fainting, sudden collapse, irregular heart rate or sudden death.

Dogs with mild SAS can have a normal lifespan, but those with the severe form are likely to die before they are 4.5 years old, even if they receive medications.

The researchers identified the gene mutation associated with canine SAS after analyzing thousands of genes in Newfoundland dogs. The mutation occurs in a gene called PICALM, according to the study published recently in the journal Human Genetics.

The same gene mutation has been linked to the formation of plaque-like lesions in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, according to study leader Dr. Joshua Stern, a veterinary cardiologist at the University of California, Davis.

"Our hope now is that breeders will be able to make informed breeding decisions and avoid breeding dogs that harbor this mutation, thus gradually eliminating the disease from the Newfoundland breed," Stern said in a university news release.

"In addition, now that we know one gene is responsible for SAS and more about which proteins are involved, we can move forward to consider novel therapies that may help treat this devastating condition," he added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about congenital heart defects in people.

SOURCE: University of California, Davis, news release, Aug. 5, 2014

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.