Friday, June 1, 2007

LifeFacts: Adult stem cells improve the mobility of dogs with muscular dystrophy

Scientists from Italy experimented on six dogs afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, using stem cells derived from ethical sources. Stem cells were collected from the muscle tissue of both healthy dogs and from dogs with MD. The stem cells extracted from the dogs with MD were modified in the lab to correct the gene. The dogs who received stem cell transplants derived from the healthy dogs benefited more than the dogs who received their own 'corrected' stem cells. Four of the dogs regained muscle strength, while two did not. One of the two died and the other showed no improvement, possibly needing higher doses of the treatment.

Once human trials begin, it would be ideal for those afflicted with MD to be treated with their own 'corrected' stem cells in order to alleviate the rejection issue. Much progress has been made; much more research must be done. Experience proves over and over again that the prospect of finding cures lies in using ethical sources of stem cells.

For more information, click here.