28 January 2013

Experiment Shows Stem Cell Therapy Improves Stroke Recovery

Credit: Catherine Twomey for The National Academies
A recent stem cell experiment in stem cell treatment showed fast and improved functional recovery after a stroke within 24 hours.

Stem cells are cells that can differentiate to other type of cells, usually a higher class such as tissues and organs. Various body systems generate different kind of stem cells. Blood stem cells which are used to generate red blood cells come from the bone marrow.

Because of the unique property of stem cells, medical researchers are constantly finding ways to use stem cells in the treatment of difficult diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease, diabetes, cancer, and for the treatment and recovery of stroke patients.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Aids In Stroke Recovery

Stem cells from bone marrow or fat improve recovery after stroke in rats, finds a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Treatment with stem cells improved the amount of brain and nerve repair and the ability of the animals to complete behavioural tasks.

Video: Stem Cell Therapy: Healing Force of the future

Stem cell therapy holds promise for patients but there are many questions which need to be answered, regarding treatment protocols and which cell types to use. This research attempts to address some of these questions.

Rats were treated intravenously with stem cells or saline 30 minutes after a stroke. At 24 hours after stroke the stem cell treated rats showed a better functional recovery. By two weeks these animals had near normal scores in the tests. This improvement was seen even though the stem cells did not appear to migrate to the damaged area of brain. The treated rats also had higher levels of biomarkers implicated in brain repair including, the growth factor VEGF.

A positive result was seen for both fat (adipose) and bone-marrow derived stem cells. Dr Exuperio Díez-Tejedor from La Paz University Hospital, explained, "Improved recovery was seen regardless of origin of the stem cells, which may increase the usefulness of this treatment in human trials. Adipose-derived cells in particular are abundant and easy to collect without invasive surgery."


BioMed Central
Stem Cell Research & Therapy
Effects of intravenous administration of allogenic bone marrow- and adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells on functional recovery and brain repair markers in experimental ischemic stroke
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