Screening Scheme Description

DNA test - NCL
Neruronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis

Details about the disease

It is one of a number of lysosomal storage diseases. Lysosomes are structures within cells that are responsible for breaking down and recycling unwanted cellular components and produce a number of key enzymes that are involved in this recycling process. Mutations in specific genes affect the efficiency of this process and cause the accumulation of intermediate chemicals to levels that can be toxic to cells, particularly to neuronal (nerve) cells. This leads to progressive neurodegeneration (degeneration of brain and eye cells) and results in severe neurological impairment and early death.

Clinical signs

Affected dogs appear normal at birth, but begin to exhibit clinical effects early in life – around 1- 2 years of age. The age of onset and severity of the disease can vary greatly among individuals. The clinical effects include progressive motor decline with seizures and loss of coordinated muscle movements, cognitive decline (decline in mental processes such as learning, memory and attention) and abnormal behaviour. Visual impairment may occur

How it is inherited

The disease is described as an autosomal recessive condition. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected. A dog that inherits only one copy of the abnormal gene (from its mother or its father) will have no signs of the disease, but will be a carrier and may pass the gene on to any offspring.

Which laboratories test for this condition?

A list of laboratories and DNA tests can be found at the following link

How to responsibly breed from your DNA tested dog

If, once your dog is DNA tested, you would like to find out what their DNA test results mean, or how to select the right mate to avoid producing affected puppies, then please read our breeding advice and information on the following link

How to find out if a potential mate has been DNA tested

The Kennel Club’s “Health Test Results Finder” allows you to find the results of DNA tests carried out as part of official Kennel Club DNA testing schemes for any dog on the Kennel Club’s breed register. To access this free health tool, please follow this link


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