Spinal Injuries and Nose Cells: Walking Again After Nose Cells Transplant?

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most horrifying injuries your dog can sustain. Nobody want’s to see their dog paralyzed and in pain.

Prognosis depends on the severity of the injury. There is a surgical treatment which can help. But what if there is a better way?

Spinal Injuries and Nose Cells: Walking Again After Nose Cells Transplant?

A pioneering new treatment, developed at the University of Cambridge, is allowing paralyzed dogs to walk again. And the secret?

Cells from dogs’ noses

What do nose cells have to do with spinal cords? One thing that the olfactory system can do that other nerve fiber cannot, is to regenerate. In the nose, there are unique cells, olfactory ensheathing cells, which take care of the regeneration.

Transplanted to the spinal cord, they can do the same thing there.

Spinal Injuries and Nose Cells: Walking Again After Nose Cells Transplant?
Cellular changes associated with the advance of the regenerating cut corticospinal tract axons (black)
across lesions (grey) repaired with transplants of olfactory ensheathing cells.
Image Nature Reviews Neuroscience

In the study, transplanting these cells to a damaged spinal cord resulted in significant improvement. All dogs, paralyzed as a result of severe spinal injuries, injected with these cells, had improved mobility and some also regained bowel and bladder control.

That is seriously exciting stuff!

Update

I found the article a long time ago and I was curious if there is anything still happening with this potential treatment. My main reason is that I am a big fan of regenerative medicine. As well as it is quite fascinating and possibly the future of medicine.

I was pleased to see that the idea has not been abandoned. Olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation is still on the table. It is being researched for use in humans so I surely hope dogs get to benefit from the idea as well.

Source article:
Dogs Paralyzed By Spine Damage Walk Again After Nose Cell Transplants

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