Electrophysiological studies in American Quarter horses with neuroaxonal dystrophy

Contributing Author Laramie Winfield DVM, DACVIM

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Neuroaxonal dystrophy (NAD) is a disease characterized by the sudden onset of neurologic signs in horses ranging from 4 to 36 months of age. Equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy (EDM), a disease that has been associated with low vitamin E concentrations, is considered a more advanced form of NAD. The objective of this report is to describe the electrophysiological features of NAD/EDM in American Quarter horses (QHs).

Six NAD/EDM-affected QHs and six unaffected QHs were evaluated by ophthalmic examination and electroretinography. Five of the NAD/EDM-affected QH and five unaffected QHs were also evaluated by electroencephalography (EEG).

Ophthalmic examination, ERGs, and EEGs were unremarkable in NAD/EDM cases.

Neuroaxonal dystrophy/EDM does not appear to cause clinical signs of ocular disease or functional ERG/EEG deficits in QHs.

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