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Financed with dollars raised in memory of the late 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, two laminitis research projects were recently funded at Louisiana State University and the University of Georgia.
They were selected from among nine laminitis research proposals submitted last summer to the Grayson-Jockey Research Foundation. The foundation was selected by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association to manage research funds raised mainly from racing fans, racing participants and racetracks. The NTRA got the ball rolling last summer with a $100,000 donation for this laminitis research effort.
At the University of Georgia, researcher Douglas Allen will follow up on recent research indicating that serotonin might be a key chemical in the development of laminitis. His team will examine whether a new medication that breaks down serotonin might prevent clinical signs of laminitis following the overload of carbohydrates.
At Louisiana State University, Susan Eades will concentrate on fully understanding the specific route of laminitis development. She and her team will test the hypothesis that the medication doxycyline may be able to prevent the onset of the disease and serve as a therapeutic agent for horses who contract laminitis.