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View Full Version : SM in CKCS is linked to degeneration of spinal cord



RodRussell
2nd September 2011, 05:53 PM
In a study published in the Journal of Comparative Pathology, researchers H.Z. Hu, C. Rusbridge, F. Constantino-Casas, N. Jeffery report that:

"SM is associated with degenerative changes in the spinal cord and may develop through primary disruption of ependymal integrity followed by vascular hypertrophy and proliferation. Glial and fibrous proliferation appears to be associated with expression of clinical signs."

Read more at http://bit.ly/nVs5Iy

mommytoClaire
3rd September 2011, 02:06 AM
Not wanting to sound stupid, but am trying to understand. So......there is CM first, which then can develop into SM. And this report is saying that that the SM is caused by degeneration of the spinal cord, which obviously is caused by the malformation of the skull (CM). Is that correct, or have I lost something along the way?

RodRussell
3rd September 2011, 05:02 AM
Not wanting to sound stupid, but am trying to understand. So......there is CM first, which then can develop into SM. And this report is saying that that the SM is caused by degeneration of the spinal cord, which obviously is caused by the malformation of the skull (CM). Is that correct, or have I lost something along the way?

It's not concluding that the SM is caused by degeneration of the spinal cord, but that where there is a syrinx, there also is the degeneration.

I think it means that as syrinxes develop, the tissues of the spinal cord deteriorate. This should not be particularly surprising, but the question arises as to (a) whether the syrinxes develop because the spinal cord tissues deteriorate, or (b) whether the spinal cord tissues deteriorate because the syrinxes start to develop.

It is a chicken-&-egg issue. Which causes which? The report does not seem to answer that question, but I think the evidence leans towards the syrinx causing the tissues to deteriorate.

mommytoClaire
3rd September 2011, 09:37 PM
Okay, thanks....I just wasn't sure. Sad that all this just leads to one more thing for our Cavaliers.

Margaret C
7th September 2011, 07:01 PM
(http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.com/2011/09/histopathological-investigation-of.html)http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.com/2011/09/histopathological-investigation-of.html


The aims of the study were to describe microscopic changes in the spinal cord of CKCSs with syringomyelia and in particular to compare symptomatic (in pain) and asymptomatic (non painful) dogs.

Method
The histopathology (microscopic changes) of spinal cords from 19 CKCS dogs which had been donated by their owners after death or euthanasia. These were examined for abnormalities by an observer blinded to the identity of the dogs.

Results included

Anomalies of the central canal were found in all specimens.

Many dogs had grossly visible fluid-filled cavities within the spinal cord.
The lining of the central canal was disrupted – particularly in dogs that showed signs of pain

There was death of nerve cells (so called Wallerian degeneration)
There was new blood vessel development and scarring around blood vessels
Compared with two different samples of the normal dog population, dogs with syrinxes had significantly less grey matter, although this decrease was associated with generalized loss of spinal cord area.
Conclusions and significance of findings

Dogs in pain had more damage to the grey matter (nerve cells). This confirmed what had been suggested before in a MRI study comparing painful and non painful dogs.

There was a marked difference in the appearance or the spinal cord in painful dogs with SM versus non painful dogs with SM. The painful dogs had more scarring (Glial and fibrous proliferation )

The pathology suggested that the primary development of syringomyelia is associated with central canal dilatation and damage which is accompanied by blood vessel changes. This is an important finding because there is so much debate on how syringomyelia develops in all species.

Acknowledgement
Authors would like to thank Mrs Margaret Carter for her role in the coordination of the tissue collection. (http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/collection.htm) Without her valuable support, experience and sensitivity this important research would not have been possible. We would also like to thank all the owners of the donated dogs.



I have blogged about the Cavalier Collection Scheme

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/entry.php?217-The-Cavalier-Collection-Scheme......how-volunteered-pets-are-helping-the-breed.

Karlin
7th September 2011, 07:03 PM
I would like to give a special thanks here to Margaret Carter, because the research behind this paper was made possible entirely by the Cavalier Collection scheme that she started, to collect the donated bodies of our cavaliers that have passed away. This scheme enables their tissues to help a number of different research projects.

This research paper is the first to result directly from her collection project. I think it is wonderful to see such work and to understand so clearly that the donation of a cavalier, while it can be very difficult to do at a difficult time, can bring such insight. I know that for me, it really reinforced the consolation I have felt after Lucy's death in donating her to this scheme. I have her ashes back now and her little box sits on the shelf next to that of my cat Quincy, where they can both watch over everybody when we are relaxing together in the sitting room. :)

Margaret has made a wonderful blog post that explains how this scheme came about and how it connects to this research, here:

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/entry.php?217-The-Cavalier-Collection-Scheme......how-volunteered-pets-are-helping-the-breed.

I hope others might be encouraged to consider a donation–either of their own cavalier, when the time comes, or of the cash donation to this research. We can take donations for the collection scheme through Rupert's Fund–just indicate that you wish it to go to the collection scheme:

http://www.rupertsfund.com/Donating.html

You can read more about this actual research and what it means on Clare Rusbridge's blog, here:

http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.com/2011/09/histopathological-investigation-of.html

Clare noted in an e-mail that the findings may also lead to a consideration of new pain treatments, because some of the findings regarding the difference of the spinal cords in dogs with SM and dogs without SM indicate that some new avenues might be tried. So, in so many ways, this research paper has produced really valuable information that will bring new insight into how SM develops, what is actually altered and damaged inside the dogs, and potentially, perhaps some new ways of addressing the pain of affected dogs.

Karlin
7th September 2011, 07:14 PM
Snap! Margaret, I see we must've been writing our posts at just about the same time :lol:.

Margaret C
7th September 2011, 10:51 PM
Snap! Margaret, I see we must've been writing our posts at just about the same time :lol:.


Isn't there a saying about great minds?:)

It is hard to describe just how thrilled I am to see this paper.
I know there has also been heart research undertaken using tissue from the Collection, but this is the first paper I have seen published. It just seems to validate a project that has been an important part of my life for quite some years now.

I hope that the owners that donated their much loved cavaliers feel the same sense of satisfaction. Pet owners and breeders, they are so brave at a time of great distress and we have so much to thank them for.

anniemac
7th September 2011, 11:50 PM
I saw dr. Rusbridge's blog post and was going to ask if this was the same thing that was posted. Thanks margaret for all your hard work and for being there for those in such a delicate time. And thanks to all who have cavaliers that have gone on to rainbows bridge but they live on with what they have contributed to research.

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anniemac
7th September 2011, 11:52 PM
Isn't there a saying about great minds?:)

It is hard to describe just how thrilled I am to see this paper.
I know there has also been heart research undertaken using tissue from the Collection, but this is the first paper I have seen published. It just seems to validate a project that has been an important part of my life for quite some years now.

I hope that the owners that donated their much loved cavaliers feel the same sense of satisfaction. Pet owners and breeders, they are so brave at a time of great distress and we have so much to thank them for.

I hope it gives some a little bit of peace to know that they can see exactly what their contribution has led to.

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