Stem Cell Treatments in Rats and Animals
ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
In the April 4, 2001 edition of JAMA (Vol. 285, 1691-1693), Drs. Gearhart and Kerr of Johns Hopkins University used stem cells to cure rats of an ALS-like disease. The rats were injected with a virus to kill the spinal cord motor nerves related to leg movement.
Dr. Gearhart and Dr. Kerr then injected the spinal cords of the rats with stem cells.
These migrated to the sites of injury where they were able to regenerate the dead nerve cells restoring the rats which were once again able to walk.
Stem cell uses in animals
Horses have been treated with stem cells since 2003, mainly to treat injuries to the tendons, ligaments, and joints of sport horses or racehorses. Fat is harvested from the tail head and processed, and an animal may receive treatment within two days after the sample is taken.
Injuries that may be treated include Degenerative Joint Disease, tendonitis, suspensory ligament desmitis, Osteochondrosis, fractures, and sub-chonral bone cysts. Currently, research is also being performed on stem cell application in laminitis and COPD
A recent double-blinded, placebo controlled study showed the effectiveness of adipose-derived stem cells in dogs with osteoarthritis, specifically, bilateral hip dysplasia (Black et al, Veterinary Therapeutics, 8 (4), 2007).
There is currently research being performed on chronic hepatitis and canine muscular dystrophy. This work, which has been successfully translated from mice to dogs could provide a means of treating muscular dystrophy in humans.
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