• Like us on
  • Follow us on

Stem Cells To Treat Dementia – by Dr Sam Lackenby

By Scott Lackenby | Dated July 21, 2018

 

Did you follow the news story recently, about our gorgeous patient Leo? Read on to find out how it all started.

 

 

Innovations are happening around us all the time. This is particularly true in the world of medicine. There are times where the veterinary and the human worlds cross paths and help each other to make a difference. This is no more evident, than in the case of a dog called Leo, who presented to us for aggression that only started once he turned 10 years of age (65-70 years of age in human terms). Prior to this he had been a fabulous family dog who was happy and friendly, and had  worked as a delta dog, visiting people in the community.

After obtaining a detailed history and undergoing a careful examination, Leo was diagnosed with dementia. From time to time we receive information about medical trials that are being undertaken. Fortunately, Leo’s owners were very happy to participate in a  trial that could not only help him, but had the hope of helping people with dementia. So, at the end of 2015 he joined the Sydney University Veterinary Cognitive Dysfunction Trial, and underwent extensive testing to investigate for any other possible causes of  his abnormal behaviour. Blood/urine tests and a  CT scan were all clear. There was no sign of a brain tumour or other disease except for ageing/cognitive dysfunction of his brain. This was met with relief, and Leo progressed to the next stage of the trial, in which he was anaesthetised and a skin sample was collected. The nerve cells from this skin were grown in the lab and stem cells were harvested from it. Next, these stem cells were injected into Leo’s hippocampus, which is the part of the brain where behaviour areas are located.

Remarkably,  since the stem cells were planted in his brain, Leo’s aggressive tendencies have already reduced considerably and he is much calmer and happier than he has been in months. In addition to behavioural assessment, the dogs in the trial also complete obstacle courses before and after treatment to assess their memory. Leo is the 3rd patient in this trial and at least one other patient has also shown improvement in memory, behaviour and mental status. Of course, there is much more knowledge to be gained and many questions to be answered, however if this trial is successful, it may  help those in our society who suffer from dementia, particularly at a young age. We are obviously years away from finding cures for many of the debilitating diseases that affect us as we age, but at least there are people and animals actively trying to make a difference. Well done Leo!

Written by Scott Lackenby

Scott joined the team at Gordon Vets in 1999, where he was immediately impressed with the high standard of customer service. He became a partner in 2002 and that same year he gained an extra qualification when he became a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Medicine. Scott is very popular amongst clients for his kind hearted approach to pet care and his great sense of humour. His particular areas of interest are endocrinology and dermatology.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Online presence by Pet Pack | Web Design by Online Marketing for Doctors | Sitemap
Book Online
Gordon Vet Hospital
4.8
Based on 105 reviews
powered by Google
Jayna Hirani
Jayna Hirani
03:43 09 Apr 20
Quality care and advice at every visit. The staff are friendly and informative and genuinely care about your pets. I am 100% confident that my cat and dog always receive the best pet healthcare and as pet parents that's all we want.
Marianne Broeng
Marianne Broeng
23:23 28 Jan 20
Gordon Vet has looked after my golden retriever since she was 9 weeks. Everyone has been amazing and caring with lots of experience. I have been able to ask any questions and always been welcome. Even one day when she stepped on a bee in the evening, they stayed open until we got there and helped her get it out. Thanks to all the staff :-)
Lizzie Wei
Lizzie Wei
00:56 18 Jan 20
We just moved to Gordon couple month ago and need to get my cat vaccinated. We found this hospital through google and I need to say they provide excellent service and very professional! The doctor really knows cat. Highly recommended!
Lara Bisley
Lara Bisley
08:15 27 Nov 19
Exceptional veterinary hospital. I have been taking my dog here for many years and although I now live in the Eastern Suburbs, I still drive across town to see the Vets at Gordon. The staff are highly skilled, compassionate, friendly and helpful. My 9 year old dog has had 2 knee operations (1 on each knee!) and the outcome of these surgeries far exceeded my expectations. I have been incredibly impressed with the care provided during all of our visits. I would highly recommend Gordon Vet Hospital.
Eugenie Goodyer
Eugenie Goodyer
23:22 21 Oct 19
Very friendly staff. Wonderful care for all our animals A++
Jennie Keogh
Jennie Keogh
06:36 21 Oct 19
Fantastic and friendly staff who you can tell really care about your pet. Their follow up service is also very reassuring. I also board my cat with Gordon Vet and I feel very comfortable to know he's in safe and caring hands. I'm so glad I found this clinic.
Newsha Amiri
Newsha Amiri
20:24 03 Oct 19
We took our dog there and Dr. David take care of his skin issues. he was so caring and professional.
Luxe Sydney Mum
Luxe Sydney Mum
06:37 02 Sep 19
Compassionate, caring and highly skilled veterinary surgeons who treat their patients and owners with respect. The nursing and administration staff are efficient and remember their patients by name which is a lovely touch. A lovely vet practice which despite our Golden Retriever Finn’s complex medical history, is always welcoming to him and he never displays any signs of anxiety when attending. Dr Helen is lovely and a firm favourite of ours!
Lihong Xing
Lihong Xing
05:00 05 Nov 18
Highly recommend Dr David, Scott, Helen, and Catherine, I've taken my cat to see all the doctors here.
Jeremy Tarbox
Jeremy Tarbox
22:55 10 Sep 18
We found a stray, agitated dog in front of our house last night. We phoned but got no help from the Council ranger who gave two options: tie him up in front yard overnight or "let him loose, he'll find his own way home" :( So we phoned Gordon Vet: they stayed open a few minutes so we could run him up and he could have a bed and dinner. Thank you Gordon Vet Hospital, hope he gets home soon!!! :)
Vishal Kapoor
Vishal Kapoor
01:52 04 Sep 18
Really amazing staff members. Their systems and processes are also very
Gerry Stevens
Gerry Stevens
11:01 14 Jul 18
Good competant vet. Did what I needed. Staff friendly. Cat's well.
Arezu A
Arezu A
03:20 15 Feb 18
Absolutely love the service here. I switched from other Vets to this Vet as the staff here are quite attentive and really care about your furry baby! I have basically seen most of the Dr's here and all of them so far have been fantastic, friendly and fun to speak with! Easy to locate and enough parking available! 5 Stars indeed!
See All Reviews