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Seizure. 2002 Sep;11(6):402-5.

Effect of trained Seizure Alert Dogs on frequency of tonic-clonic seizures.

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  • 1Support Dogs, The John Fisher Centre, Trianco House, Chapeltown, Sheffield, UK.


We have previously reported that dogs can be trained to recognize specific changes preceding an epileptic seizure in humans. Such dogs can provide an overt signal that acts as a useful warning to the human. Early observations suggested that seizure frequency might also be reduced. We report a prospective study of 10 consecutive referrals to our Seizure Alert Dogs service of people with tonic-clonic seizures. Seizure frequency was monitored over a 48 week period including 12 weeks baseline after entry, a 12 week training period, and 24 weeks follow up. Comparing baseline seizure frequency to the last 12 weeks of follow up, there was a 43% mean reduction in seizure frequency ( P= 0.002). Nine out of /10 subjects showed a 34% or greater reduction, 4 /10 showed a 50% or greater reduction, and only one showed no improvement. Although a significant drop in seizure frequency was seen during the first 4 weeks of training ( P= 0.0078) a further drop occurred between the first and last 4 week period of training (P = 0.038) and this final improvement was maintained for the whole 24 week follow up.

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