October 21, 2014 | Georgie

I think it's incredible how a man who was paralysed from the chest down after an injury can now walk again.

Scientists transplanted olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) - part of our sense of smell - from his nasal cavity into his spinal cord. The small strip of spinal-cord scar tissue remaining was injected with the OECs, helping form a path for the nerve fibres to reconnect.

This treatment is a world first, and scientists hope to treat another ten patients over the next few years.


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Although the patient still needs a frame to walk, there is hope that one day he will walk independently.


Image: Flickr/PeterThoeny

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