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Cognition in canine epilepsy: what do we know and where are we going?
  1. Sarah Moore, DVM, DACVIM and
  2. Meghan Herron, DVM, DACVB
  1. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
  1. E-mail: moore.2204{at}

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Cognition, as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is ‘the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses.’ In people, mild cognitive impairment typically manifests as abnormal learning ability or deficits in memory and attention. A strong association between epilepsy and cognitive impairment has been reported.1–3 Structural lesions of the thalamocortex, genetic factors that may predispose to both epilepsy and other cognitive disorders, repeated seizures themselves, and the effects of anticonvulsant therapy may cause these impairments. Cognitive impairments pose life-long challenges for people with epilepsy; however, the presence of such impairment has been historically under-emphasised in veterinary medicine.

The presence and effects of epilepsy-associated cognitive deficits are the focus of a new study by Winter and colleagues,4 summarised on p 633 of this week’s issue of Vet Record. This study …

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