Stem Cell progress for Strokes
Stem Cell progress for Strokes
Early trail breakthrough sees advancements for stem cell therapies for stroke victims.
University of Georgia researchers in the US have been working on a new stem cell treatment for stoke victims. The new treatment has been discovered which to reduces brain damage and helps the brain heal faster itself. The results of these trails have been so promising that clinical trials are expected to follow on as early as next year.
Strokes affect almost 800,000 people in the US each year, with almost 140,000 people dying, making it the fifth-leading cause of death. As well as this, in the UK there are more than 100,000 stokes a year and it is the UK’S fourth biggest killer. When looking at worldwide statistics in 2010 there were 17 million incidences of first-time strokes.
Survivors of a stroke usually have to tackle a long rehabilitation period and in extremely sever cases have permanent brain damage.
There are also over 400 strokes in the UK that directly affect children. The risk of a stroke for children caused by a clot six times more likely to happen following recent illness, such as cold and flu.
This trial by the university in Georgia studied the results when using both Neural stem cell (NSC) and mesenchymal stem cells to tackle brain damage following a stroke.
Before this stem cell breakthrough, there was previous research into possible treatments which included existing anti-inflammatory drugs, peptides found in spider venom, and a custom-made catheter for removing clots, but haven’t proved to be as effective as stem cell developments.
This new study was conducted by Steven Stice, the lead researcher on the study from the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and spinout startup ArunA Biomedical.
Steven Stice, the lead researcher on the study, said: “This is truly exciting evidence, because exosomes provide a stealth-like characteristic, invisible even to the body’s own defences,”
He also commented: “When packaged with therapeutics, these treatments can actually change cell progression and improve functional recovery.”
The researchers found that the treatment improved the recovery of motor control and memory in stroke victims. The team also compared MRI scans of stroke affected cells who hadn’t received the treatment and the MRI scans of cells that had. The findings were that the treatment shrunk the injury by around 35 percent and had halved the amount of brain tissue that was lost from the stroke.
Steven Stice, said: “Until now, we had very little evidence specific to neural exosome treatment and the ability to improve motor function,” adding “Just days after stroke, we saw better mobility, improved balance and measurable behavioural benefits in treated animal models.”
The university researchers followed up these tests with another study and found equivalent results. The researchers have been extremely encouraged by all the positive finding and now, the team are preparing for further studies, which are expected to start in 2019.