JUN 15, 2016 06:07 AM PDT

Stem Cells for Stroke Recovery?


While it was a very small study, and it's early days, research from Stanford University suggests that stem cells injected directly into the brain could help patients recover from strokes. Every year, about 800,000 Americans experience a stroke. It's the leading cause of disability and about 130,000 of those who suffer a stroke will die from it. Most of the recovery that a stroke patient experiences will happen in the first six months, so medical professionals have not been hopeful for patients who are still dealing with significant impairments after that point.

The study at Stanford only included 18 patients but all of them experienced significant motor improvement in the first month after having stem cells injected directly into the brain via a small hole drilled into the skull. Researchers believe that the stem cells are reducing inflammation and also secreting chemicals that activate brain cells surrounding the damaged parts of the brain, so those areas can take over function from the circuits in the brain that no longer work. Giving the brain a new level of plasticity essentially makes it function as a younger brain, making new connections. This new level of function can result in recovery from the debilitating effects of a stroke in some patients.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
SEP 12, 2018
Videos
SEP 12, 2018
Are Sound Waves Being Weaponized?
There have been a lot of headlines recently about strange brain injuries to staff at US Embassies in Cuba and China. Several staff diplomats in the two cou...
SEP 13, 2018
Videos
SEP 13, 2018
Antibiotics Are Still Being Over-Prescribed by Some Health Facilities
The opioid abuse problem continues unabated, despite public health efforts to curb the use of narcotic painkillers that can cause dependence and push patie...
SEP 20, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 20, 2018
"Silver Bullet" for Stinky Socks
Silver is known for its anti-microbial property for ages. As early as fourth century BC, the great Greek physician Hippocrates described the use of silver...
SEP 26, 2018
Videos
SEP 26, 2018
Cancer Immunotherapy
Video illustration about how tumor cells are sensed and destroyed by the immune system and how tumors evolve and detect immune-mediated eliminations, as well as iimmunotherapies associated....
OCT 18, 2018
Videos
OCT 18, 2018
Tips on Bringing Stem Cells out of Deep Freeze
Once a subject of intense debate, stem cells have made their way into the research laboratory....
OCT 20, 2018
Videos
OCT 20, 2018
Understanding how the Immune System is Controlled
Scientists are trying to learn more about a gene, PTPN22, that is especially critical to the immune system....
Loading Comments...