Paralysed dogs regain movement

A pioneering treatment allows dogs to recapture some movement, raising hopes that the method will work in people too

A PIONEERING treatment has allowed paralysed dogs to regain some movement. The results have raised hopes that the method will work in people too.

So far, nine dogs paralysed in road accidents or by spinal disc injuries have been treated by veterinary surgeons Robin Franklin and Nick Jeffery of the University of Cambridge. Within a month, all regained the ability to make jerky movements in their hind legs, Jeffery told a meeting in Birmingham, UK, this week, although they are only slowly gaining the ability to support their own weight.

Many different approaches to treating spinal injuries are being explored, but promising results in small animals such as rats have often not been repeated in larger animals. That is one of the reasons why the dog results are exciting, says Geoffrey Raisman of the Institute of Neurology at University College London, one of the pioneers of the method used by ...