Department Blog

Health Sciences Libraries

Samples from Pembroke Welsh Corgis for ALS Research Needed

January 10th, 2017 by Deanna Johnson

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating disorder of older adults that is characterized by progressive loss of muscle function. Ultimately victims of this disease become completely paralyzed and eventually die when the muscles that control breathing and swallowing no longer work.

An analogous disease called degenerative myelopathy (DM) occurs in older dogs from a number of breeds, but is particularly common in Pembroke Welsh Corgis. The disease in Corgis usually has an onset at about 8 years of age with progressive loss of hind limb function early in the disease. In the early stages affected dogs can still manage to have a reasonable quality of life if they are provided with a “wheelchair” type device such as that shown in the picture above. Unfortunately, as with ALS patients, muscles in addition to those of the hind limbs eventually become involved and the dogs eventually will become completely paralyzed if allowed to live long enough. Many affected dogs are euthanized before they reach this stage of the disease.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi with DM

The Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Laboratory (NDRL) at the MU School of Medicine in Columbia, Missouri is conducting research to examine the changes that occur in the muscles and in the nerves that control them in Corgis. By examining these tissues from dogs euthanized at different stages of the disease, as well as from unaffected age-matched Corgis, they hope to develop a picture of how the disease develops and thereby develop a rational approach to therapy that they hope will apply to both DM and ALS. In order for these studies to succeed, researchers at the NDRL need nerve and muscle tissue donations from both affected and particularly unaffected Corgis that are being euthanized. The NDRL will provide kits to veterinarians to preserve and ship the tissues to NDRL for analyses. If you have or know of an older Pembroke Welsh Corgi that is being euthanized for any reason and would like to assist with this important research by donating tissues from the dog, please contact either Professor Martin Katz (katzm@health.missouri.edu) or Dr. Joan Coates (coatesj@missouri.edu) to arrange to have a kit for the tissue preservation and shipping sent.

Dr. Jonna Mazet (UC Davis) to Deliver 2016 NLM/MLA Leiter Lecture, May 4

April 20th, 2016 by Deanna Johnson

Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD, will give the 2016 Joseph Leiter National Library of Medicine (NLM)/Medical Library Association (MLA) Lecture, Wednesday, May 4. It will take place at 1:00 PM EST (10:00 AM PST) in Lister Hill Auditorium, on the first floor of NIH Building 38A.

leiter-lecture-2016-mazet_50   Her topic will be, “Emerging Infectious Diseases in the 21st Century: A Prevention Paradigm for Surveillance, Information Sharing, and Health Diplomacy.” The lecture, which is open to the public, will also be recorded and broadcast live on the Web (and is now archived) at: https://videocast.nih.gov.

..Mazet is professor of epidemiology and disease ecology, and executive director of the One Health Institute, at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where she focuses on global health problem solving, especially for emerging infectious disease and conservation challenges. Currently, she is the global director of a $175 million viral emergence early warning project, PREDICT, that has been developed with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. She was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine in 2013.

..The Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture was established in 1983 to stimulate intellectual liaison between the MLA and the NLM. Leiter was a major contributor in cancer research at the National Cancer Institute and a leader at NLM as a champion of medical librarians and an informatics pioneer. He served as NLM Associate Director for Library Operations from 1965 to 1983.

..Directions to NLM and details about visiting NLM and the NIH campus are available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/psd/ref/guide/rrdirect.html. Sign language interpreters will be provided at the lecture.

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..For more information:
Stephen J. Greenberg, MSLS, PhD
Coordinator of Public Services
History of Medicine Division, NLM
301.827.4577
greenbes@mail.nih.gov