Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stem Cells From Nose Tissue Help Jasper Walk

This is Jasper, a 10-year-old dachshund, after he got hit by a car:
He is one of 34 dogs who took part in a research study at Cambridge University. The researchers took cells from the lining of Jasper's nose, called olfactory ensheathing cells, and injected them into his spine.

Here he is after the study:

Like several of the 23 dogs in the study who received the treatment, Jasper could soon walk on a treadmill with a harness. Many of the others regained at least some mobility in their hind legs.

Jasper had a slipped disc as a result of the accident in 2008. His owners had been using a trolley with a sling to help him get around. They say that now, "we can't stop him whizzing around the house, and he can even keep up with the two other dogs we own. It's utterly magic."

The research holds out hope that the same technique may eventually be used to restore at least some movement to humans with spinal cord injuries, although the researchers cautioned that a lot more research is still needed before that can happen.