Scientists at Cambridge University have announced that they have been successful in reversing paralysis in dogs with spinal cord injury, after injecting stem cells derived from the nose lining of the dogs into the injured area.
The announcement is being greeted with great optimism, amid hopes that the therapy could also be used beneficially in human beings. The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, and the findings have been published in the journal Brain.
34 pet dogs were used as part of the trial. The stem cells from the nose lining of the dogs were removed, and expanded in the lab. The cells were transplanted into the injured area of 23 dogs. The remaining dogs had a neutral fluid injected into them.
The researchers found that after some days, the dogs that received the stem cells from the nasal lining were able to walk on a treadmill. However, in the control group that had a neutral fluid injected into them, none of the dogs showed any improvement.
According to the researchers, these are extremely interesting findings, because they indicate that stem cells injected into the injured area can bring about significant improvement. The researchers are confident that they can use the same techniques to restore at least some movement in human beings who suffer spinal cord injury, and have suffered paralysis.
Houston personal injury lawyers must treat this news with some caution. This may be a small step forward in the race to find a cure for spinal injury, and the results are encouraging. However, it does not mean that the results will be easily translated into human beings too.
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