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The research was initiated in 2000. It is primarily focused on finding the genetic basis for this condition because finding the gene/s responsible for CM/SM will enhance understanding of the underlying molecular and cellular pathogenic mechanisms for better diagnosis, prognosis and clinical management of the conditions. Most importantly it will be possible to develop a genetic test to identify carriers and devise breeding strategies to reduce or eliminate this devastating condition in the CKCS and other affected breeds.

It involves two aspects:

1) identifying the
phenotypic variations that occur in the disorder

2) collecting suitable
DNA of these phenotypic variations

In 2003 Dr Guy Roulaeu, now at CHU Sainte Justine Research Centre in Montreal, Canada, agreed to take the research forward and appointed Dr Zoha Kibar to oversee the mammoth task of finding the gene/s. in 2004, in collaboration with Dr Berge Minassion at Sick Kids Toronto, a grant from the Cavalier Health Foundation (#104) was approved to archive Cavalier DNA to be used in a genome scan. This was the first step taken which links human and canine interests, recognizing the valuable contribution that dogs can make towards understanding the etiology in human Chairi and Syringomyelia.

PART two