Researchers at Cambridge University have created quite a stir using nose cells to treat spinal injuries in dogs. There are, sadly, several breeds that have higher incidences of spinal problems than others. These are typically the longer-backed dogs like Dachshunds and Bassets, and the giant breeds but there are other breeds as well. These breeds in particular may be helped, but any dog can suffer a spinal injury. There may now be hope with this new treatment of eventually regaining some or full use of paralyzed limbs.
This truly amazing video shows Jasper’s journey from paralysis to mobility!
Thirty-four dogs were used in this study, all of whom had spinal injuries preventing them from using their hind legs. Twenty-three of them were injected with olfactory cells that had been removed from their noses and grown in the laboratory. A large proportion of the dogs who received the injections gained some use of their back logs, while none of the dogs in the group who received a similar injection but of a neutral fluid, recovered any use at all.
Significance of This Research
This research is significant because it is the first time that a severely damaged spinal cord has shown considerable improvement with the use of these transplanted cells. The regenerated nerve fibers allowed these lucky dogs to use their hind legs again in a coordinated way.