A seven year old golden retriever named Ringo could well offer scientists a solution to the problem of muscular dystrophy. Ringo has a defect; a degenerative illness that could have crippled or even killed him; however he is able to walk, run and jump like a healthy dog.
Scientists are currently trying to fathom the reason why this defect has not affected this canine, with the hope that this can be applied to humans at a later date as well.
Possible DNA clues as to what stimulates Ringo’s resistance to the disease are now being examined by the researchers so that a treatment for muscular dystrophy can be developed for humans as well.
Muscular dystrophy is characterized by wasting of muscle tissue, progressive paralysis and ultimately death.
This is seen to occur particularly among young men and boys and is caused by the absence of a protein called distrofina that works to keep muscle fibers firm in healthy individuals.
A genetic defect on the X chromosome is thought to be responsible for the problem, but scientists are hopeful of being able to isolate what kept Ringo healthy while offspring he sired went on to develop muscular atrophy or died within days of being born.