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

Andreas Berk, B; Packer, R M A; Hong Law, T; Wessmann, A; Bathen-Nöthen, A; Jokinen, T S; Knebel, A; Tipold, A; Pelligand, L; Volk, H A


B Andreas Berk

R M A Packer

T Hong Law

A Wessmann

A Bathen-Nöthen

T S Jokinen

A Knebel

A Tipold

L Pelligand

H A Volk


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.


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

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 29, 2020
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, 2021
Journal Epilepsy & Behavior
Print ISSN 1525-5050
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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