Dachshund’s Miracle Therapy Lets Him Walk Again, Gives Hope for Humans

A 10-year-old Dachshund named Jasper was paralyzed after having a slipped disk, a condition Dachshund’s are prone to with their long bodies. He had to wheeled around in a stroller to get out and about. It was heartbreaking to watch him try to move, according to his family. But thanks to a groundbreaking treatment, Jasper has been given a new lease on life.

Jasper and 33 other dogs with spontaneous or accidental spinal injuries took part in research at the University of Cambridge where a serum containing cells from their own noses was injected into the spinal column. Eleven of the dogs received a neutral substance and showed no improvement, but many of the remaining 23 transplant dogs were able to walk again with the help of a harness on a treadmill. Jasper started walking after just six months and is “zipping around the house,” according to May Hay, his owner.

This Nose Knows How to Grow

Apparently, nasal cells are the only cells that continue to regenerate nerve fibers in adults. Armed with that information, researchers introduced these special olfactory cells into the spinal column to see if they would be able to make new nerve fibers to bridge the damaged area of the spinal cord.

Hope for Humans with Spinal Cord Injuries

“We’re confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries but that’s a long way from saying they might be able to regain all lost function,” said Professor Robert Franklin, the study’s co-author. He and his team are thrilled by the results, though this is likely to be only a piece of the puzzle to restore full functionality to humans.

For more information visit ABC News. Photo of Jasper before he received treatment also courtesy of ABC News.

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