JUN 15, 2016 06:07 AM PDT
Stem Cells for Stroke Recovery?
3 10 389

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
MAY 09, 2018
Videos
MAY 09, 2018
How Much Do We Really Know about Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder has been in the news recently since singer Mariah Carey revealing her diagnosis. As it happens, other celebrities have battled bipolar inc
MAY 14, 2018
Videos
MAY 14, 2018
Running on a Treadmill vs. Running Outdoors
Is it better to run on a treadmill or outdoors? Apparently, the differences are not only personal preferences but health advantages as well. For one, runni
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
A mapmaker's dilemma
Try cutting open a world map beach ball and you will see the dilemma that all mapmakers face: the surface of a sphere cannot be represented as a plane with
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
What to Do if Bitten by a Snake
Snake bites can be scary; not just because they're painful, but also because it can be tough to discern whether the attacking snake is venomous or not. Nev
MAY 21, 2018
Videos
MAY 21, 2018
The Different Ways Supernovae Can Occur
A supernova is an incredibly bright explosion that most people associate with the death of an old star when there isn't enough 'fuel' left for nuclear fusi
MAY 24, 2018
Videos
MAY 24, 2018
E-cigarette Flavoring Disrupts Lung Cells
E-cigarette users may not know that what they are inhaling has probably not been tested to see what health effects it has. New research has indicated that
Loading Comments...