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Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 in Science |

They get reverse paralysis in dogs after cell transplantation in the snout

A group of researchers at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine have made Jasper, a dachshund of 10 years old, has regained the use of his hind legs after injecting cells taken from the lining of your snout. Cells that have shown significant potential to replace damaged nerves and like Jasper, was performed in a total of 23 dogs. According to investigators, a revolutionary method that could be used in the repair of spinal cord of humans.

Researchers have all treated had suffered spinal cord injuries resulting from accidents or back problems at least a year before the study. None of them could use their hind legs to walk or feel any sensation.

For the study, the dogs were olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) taken from the snout, spinal cord injecting a culture of cells from the mucous membranes of the nose. These cells, which are located on the back of the nasal cavity are the only part of the body where the nerve fibers continue to grow into adulthood. In fact, the potential for these cells to assist in repairing the spinal cord has been known for decades, have even earlier studies carried out with mice indicating that the cells had a potent regenerative potential.

The scientists explained that several weeks after the initial extraction, the cells were injected into the injured part of the back of dogs to help regenerate the damage done to your spine. After a month, the dogs were tested to determine their neurological function and walking ability.

Surprisingly observed a significant improvement. According to the researchers, although not perfect, the dogs had recovered significant function of the hind legs, previously paralyzed. Some of them even regained control bowel and bladder after treatment.

Still, the researchers say that new nerve connections in short distances are generated within the spinal cord, which probably will have to be corrected with a complementary intervention.

A treatment that must pass more tests before it can be applied in human patients.

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