New study offers hope for paralysis patients
Dogs with paralyzed hind legs regained the ability to walk after getting a shot of a chemical cousin of antifreeze that helped repair nerve cells in their damaged spinal cords, scientists reported...
The treatment only worked on dogs given the injections within about three days of their injury. Some dogs not given the injections eventually walked again, but those getting the new treatment had a dramatically higher recovery rate...
In the study, 19 paraplegic dogs were injected with polyethylene glycol, or PEG — a nontoxic liquid polymer composed of long strings of the same type of molecules found in antifreeze.
Within eight weeks, 13 of the 19 canines, about 68 percent, regained the use of their hind legs and were able to walk, some almost as well as before their injury...
Although exactly how PEG works remains unclear, Borgens said it appears to act as a sort of “molecular Band-Aid” that forms a temporary seal over breaches in nerve cells in the spinal cord, aiding their healing process.