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Predictors of response to potassium channel blockade in chronically paralyzed dogs.

Predictors of response to potassium channel blockade in chronically paralyzed dogs.

In a previous clinical trial, we showed that chronically paralyzed dogs have better stepping scores when treated with 4-aminopyridine, a drug that blocks potassium channels. However, we also reported that the response to this drug varied widely between individuals and the current study tried to identify why some dogs respond better than others.

This study generated 4 important publications.

Overall, these studies demonstrate that many paralyzed dogs that have no sensation in their hind feet still have nerve connections across the site of injury that we can detect with specialized MRI techniques and by evaluating conduction of electrical impulses up and down the spinal cord. We also found that the nerve circuits that drive stepping are more excitable in dogs with stepping ability than in those without.