Grayson-Jockey Club Foundation Funds Wobbler Research

The study “Orthopedic and Genetic Roles in Wobbler Syndrome” is being carried out at the Gluck Equine Research
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One of the 17 projects the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation will fund in 2011 includes the continuation of a study at the Gluck Equine Research Center now in its second year.

The research project, "Orthopedic and Genetic Roles in Wobbler Syndrome," is led by James MacLeod, VMD, PhD, John S. and Elizabeth A. Knight chair and professor of veterinary science at the Gluck Center.

Equine cervical stenosis, commonly known as wobbler syndrome, is a structural narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck that produces severe neurologic deficits through spinal cord compression. Wobbler syndrome is a devastating disease targeting horses’ musculoskeletal and neurologic systems. It is a distressing disease for owners of affected horses with limited treatment options. Multiple factors are thought to contribute to disease development, including genetics, high planes of nutrition, trauma, rapid growth, and altered copper/zinc levels. The exact cause and development are not well understood.

The focus of this project is to examine the role of abnormal bone and cartilage formation in the neck vertebrae and to identify regions of DNA and, potentially, event-specific genes that are involved in wobbler syndrome. The goal is to enhance the existing understanding of wobbler syndrome’s cause and progression and lead to improved management and therapeutic practices

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