Yeah, I don’t really have an interesting title. But hey: Doggies. Scientists at Cambridge University have utilized a long-awaited technique to restore motor function to the hind legs of dogs that had been paralyzed in accidents.
The scientists had thirty-four dogs in their test group. Twenty-three received the treatment while eleven were the control group. By transplanting cells from the dogs’ noses to their spinal cords, they were able to regain the ability to walk. I’m hoping that once the study was done they, y’know, gave the treatment to the control group. That’d be pretty messed up to send those puppies home still on their stupid carts.
Cells in the linings of their noses are called olfactory ensheathing cells, which are used to surround the neurons that allow us to smell. They’re the only part of the body where nerve cells continually regenerate in adults. Scientists had been looking into these cells for some time, and wanted to see what they could do with spinal cord injuries.
Behold! (Stick with this one, it gets better at the end.)
In parts of the spine where connections among nerve fibers were severed, the treatment was able to repair those connections. While some of these dogs had been using carts to wheel themselves around, the pups were able to recoordinate their legs and walk with four limbs once again.
Puppy! Paralyzed dogs no more!
Anyway, scientists say not to get too excited for humans, as the technique may help paralyzed patients, but would not fully restore the ability to walk. More likely, they suggest, the therapy would be used in conjunction with other treatments to help the patient be able to walk again.
Question: How adorable is that dachshund? Seriously. Look at him. Look at him.