Nose cell implants help paralyzed dog walk again

November 24, 2012 6:00:25 PM PST
A pioneering treatment for spinal injuries has helped a paralyzed dog walk again.

Jasper injured his spine in 2008. He couldn't move his hind legs. Scientists at the University of Cambridge took cells from Jasper's nose and injected them into his damaged spinal cord. He started walking again with a harness, and was eventually able to walk on his own.

"The cells we used, when they are in the nose they usually help nerve fibers to grow from the nose into the brain," said University of Cambridge professor Nicolas Jeffery. "That's their normal function in the nose. The idea is when you transfer them into the spinal cord, or anywhere else in the nervous system, that they might also help new nerve fibers grow from one place to another."

The study has helped other dogs with spinal injuries regain limited use of their legs.

Researchers say, however, the procedure would not likely benefit humans with spinal injuries.


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