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Cell therapies for spinal cord injury

Between 2008 and 2011 researchers at the Department of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) undertook the first randomized double-blinded clinical trial of a cell therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI). The trial involved transplantation of autologous olfactory ensheathing cells into domestic dogs with chronic pelvic limb paraplegia as a consequence of clinical SCI. The results indicated a significant improvement in locomotor function. This study has had a major impact on 1) the public awareness of the use of veterinary disease in biomedical research, 2) public awareness of SCI and approaches to its treatment, and 3) current programmes, both veterinary and human, for SCI treatment.

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