A new study helping not only paraplegic dogs, but someday humans as well, is debunking a “one size fits all” approach to treatment even in the case of similar injuries. ┬áScientists recruited 19 dogs with similar spinal cord injuries and length of time from injury, so they could rule out spontaneous recovery, and treated all with either a placebo, or one of two drugs for two week periods at a time. The drugs, 4-AP and its derivative t-butyl, both aid recovery by helping damaged nerves transmit signals. The study showed little difference in the effect between the drugs as both showed significant stepping movement improvement when compared to the placebo but the over all results varied greatly from no improvement to being able to step on a treadmill. So the new approach when using these obviously effective drugs is not if they work but why. Factors could include, length of time from injury, genetic predisposition for efficacy of the drugs or simply the axons are not there at the site of injury for the drugs to work upon. While 4-AP is already in human trials and used in multiple sclerosis treatments, t-butyl has not made it to human clinical trials but with the help of these dogs specialized treatments for canines and humans could be around the corner.



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