Saturday, November 24 2012, 11:27 PM MST
Paralyzed Dog Walks Again
(KUTV) A paralyzed dog is able to walk again after a revolutionary procedure gave its legs new life.
Cells from the dog's nose were actually injected right into its damaged spinal cord. Although this treatment may not have direct human implications--it's a step in the right direction.
Jasper the dog injured in 2008 lost the use of his hind legs. But thanks to a pioneering treatment, Jasper went from paralyzed to walking with the aid of a harness.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge took the cells from Jasper's nose and injected them into his damaged spinal cord.
"The cells we used, when they are in the nose they usually help nerve fibers to grow from the nose into the brain. That's their normal function in the nose," said Professor Nicolas Jeffery.
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."
And it's not just Jasper who is whizzing around the house again. Scientists say some of the other dogs in the study regain limited use of the hind legs.
But the researchers acknowledge that this procedure alone would not likely have any useful benefit to human spinal cord patients.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)