Medium-chain triglycerides dietary supplement improves cognitive abilities in canine epilepsy

Andreas Berk, B and Packer, R M A and Hong Law, T and Wessmann, A and Bathen-Nöthen, A and Jokinen, T S and Knebel, A and Tipold, A and Pelligand, L and Volk, H A (2020) Medium-chain triglycerides dietary supplement improves cognitive abilities in canine epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior.

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Abstract

Objective: Cognitive impairments (CI) have recently been identified in canine epilepsy patients. A medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) enriched diet has been demonstrated to improve cognition in aged dogs and seizure control in canine epilepsy. This study evaluates the short-term effects of MCT oil consumption on cognitive abilities in dogs with epilepsy, a naturally occurring animal model. Methods: A 6-month multi-center, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled cross-over diet trial was conducted comparing dietary supplementation (DS) of MCT-oil to a control oil. Allocation to dietary oil supplements, consisting of 9% total caloric intake, was block-randomized and supplemented into each dogs’ diet for three months followed by a respective switch of DS oil for a further three months. Non-invasive cognitive tests and a validated psychometric tool were utilized to evaluate cognitive function and perturbations associated with dietary intervention. Results: Twenty-nine dogs completed the trial, of which 18 completed non-invasive cognitive testing. Spatial-working memory (p=0.008), problem-solving ability (p=0.048) and owner-reported trainability (p=0.041) were significantly improved during MCT-oil supplementation compared to control-DS. Significance: MCT-oil DS improves cognition in dogs with epilepsy when compared to a control-DS. MCT supplementation may represent a promising option to address CI associated with epilepsy.

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