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Stem Cells for Stroke Victims

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 6 Sep 2020 | comments*Discuss
Stem Cells Stroke Studies Clinical Brain

Brain damage that results from stroke is an enormous challenge to address for people around the world. That's why research into stem cell therapies for stroke victims is so vital to reduce the devastating effects of stroke on its victims.

Stem Cell Study

A new study is set to go ahead in the United Kingdom (UK) to find out if stem cells are able to repair brain damage suffered by stroke victims (see bottom of page for update). The company is aiming to begin clinical trials in the first half of this year on twelve patients. While there has been some preliminary success on stem cell treatments for similar brain damage, this new study will address a condition that has widespread effects.

Designing the Study

In this British study, stroke victims will have neural stem cells injected into their skull. While it sounds quite graphic, the injections will involve a very fine syringe and will target the parts of their brains that have been more severely affected by the stroke.

Researchers hope that these neural stem cells will then develop into healthy brain tissue as well as neurons and other related, supportive structures in the brain. If the study proves successful, it will mean that the stroke victim's brain will have newly restored connections – a better, healthier brain network, so to speak.

Taking Animal Studies to Humans

So far, we have also seen positive results from studies in mice, where they were able to regain brain functioning following injury to the brain. These kinds of animal experiments have prompted the need for human studies and it is hoped that this new clinical trial will provide similar – or greater – success.

One interesting aspect of this kind of study is that once the stem cells are injected, we don't know exactly how they work and develop in the brain. We can measure the outcomes of the procedure but we can't actually track everything that happens once the neural cells are injected. So, we don't know where they travel exactly or how they change and develop.

Scans taken regularly can show brain functioning and activities after the treatment but the precise process by which the brain 'heals' is something that for now, will remain a mystery. At best, we can hope for a positive result by whatever physical mechanism occurs and perhaps in the future, we will also be able to observe the pathway itself by which stem cells help stroke victims.

Awaiting Study Results

Many of us will be anxiously awaiting the results of the study, which provides hope for the many people who have suffered from brain damage due to a stroke. For now, however, the best thing the rest of us can do is to focus on preventative strategies to reduce the likelihood of suffering from a stroke.

With stroke being as prevalent as it is, it's likely most of us will either suffer from a stroke at some point in our lifetime or we will know someone who does suffer from one and possibly has brain damage to some degree as a result. Hopefully, the new British study will offer hope for everyone who is affected by stroke or will be one day.

Update: A pilot study by Imperial College London infused particular types of stem cells that stimulate growth, known as CD34+ into damaged sections of the brain. All the five patients showed improvements in clinical measures of disability. While these trials are still in their very early stages it shows promise for future clinical trials.

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Hi, I suffered a stroke about 4yrs ago, I'm now 42, my life has been tragic since & I feel now I've almost given up on life. It affected the right side of the body, my arm feels like a constant weight, but I can walk. Is there any way of curing this please?
Damon Castles - 6-Sep-20 @ 11:05 AM
My nephew is 32 years old and had left brain stem Intracerebral Hemorrhage in Jun19.He is an active boy with no medicial history.After 4-5 months in acute and rehab hospital, he can somewhat walk with a stick now but paralysis on his right arm/hand. We read about stem cells therapy & its potential benefits.Please can you let me know if you have any clinical trial which may suit him.
Shirlz - 11-Dec-19 @ 12:32 PM
My father suffered a cardiac arrest in 2017. He has a hypoxia brain injury as a result we’d like him to have stem cell treatment to help him improve are there any clinical trials about to begin he could be considered for? Please get in touch if there’s any news of info thanks
Andy - 18-Nov-19 @ 11:07 PM
I am crying out in anguish like all these above messages. Although in her early 80s in 2016, Mum was an active, intelligent person, who was always ready to run that extra mile for others.She went into hospital to have her gall bladder removed. They perforated the bile ducts, operated 2 days later to remove a litre of bile from her peritoneal which lead to intra-abdominal sepsis. The 2 surgeries/anaesthetics so close together caused her stroke which has left her severely disabled, unable to eat, talk, walk and with impaired vision, incontinent and ataxia - and deep bouts of depression. I am wondering. Could we somehow galvanise our anguish and ask the BBC to consider a massive charity campaign next year for, instead of Children in Need the nation consider raising money for brain stem cell research? There are loads of charities around christmas for children and the homeless. Brain stem cell research could reach billions of people - children and adults (children do grow up) & their families, including some of those that Children in Need might support. In the long run this area of research could also save the nation/ NHS millions through reducing the support care needed for brain damaged / brain diseased people. (As a side line I also think Country File should be raising money for the environment and biodiversity - after all its a program (& salaries) based of these issues, and these need to be left in a healthy state long after we have gone). Its a matter of head over heart- how best can limited resources be spent? Can we at the sharp end do anything to speed things up for us - and in the long run for everyone? Pat
pwogs - 16-Nov-19 @ 8:47 AM
I would like to know if my mother could be considered for this treatment, she has lost mobility down her right side and has suffered brain damage, cant speak properly this happened 30/11/2015.
John - 16-Sep-19 @ 6:04 PM
Would like to know how to be considered for stem cell treatment and the cost of it my partner had a stroke on 05/04/2015 it has affected his right hand side his arm has no function at all the hospital are still trying to get him walking better and he is in constant pain even though he takes loads of medication every day the stroke has not only affected him but also myself and my 2 son's would be grateful for any information on anything that could make his life a little better. Regards K.kerrigan
Katie - 24-Jun-19 @ 6:16 PM
My mum had a big stroke in July last year she has been left with permanentright sided disabilityand very little speech she also has a peg in her stomachshe is 77 going in 78 would that make any differenceto the researchI would like some more info on this pls as it maybe something that we would considermy mum she is just a shell of what she used to be she was a very independentwoman not any more thoughts
Amanda lawrence - 20-Mar-19 @ 9:14 AM
My wife had a stroke in 2014 and has limited use of her left side and would be very interested in any trials that may be taking place. Up until the stroke she was very active and her life is now limited. Anything that may enhance her life would be a benefit.
wolfie - 18-Mar-19 @ 3:38 PM
I had a haemorrhage stroke 6 years ago at 38 leaving me left hand side disabled, I would be very interested in how trials are progressing or options to enter research trials Thanks in advance
Gus - 19-Feb-19 @ 9:35 PM
I had a major stroke last year it affected my right side I can walk slowly with a stick but my right arm doesn't workI can't grasp or grip anything I managed to get my arm down it was very painful but I managed it I've heard about stem cells and would like some information is it a risk it will make you worse or better
Killerkaz1 - 24-Sep-18 @ 2:22 PM
Allan - Your Question:
Any information or an update on the study, or any consideration for future clinical trials please can you get in contact, my dad is at the early stages of recovery after suffering a massive stroke after carotid artery surgery (2 weeks ago). Any help or treatment options that could aid him I would be very interested to know about. Please and thank you. Very sad to see how many lives have been effected by this awful condition. I wish everyone the very best in there our journey and recovery for themselves or there nearest and dearest. I have the greatest respect for you all. those people looking for another avenue may want to start researching hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Our Response:
To all who post on this site, the NHS link here, should tell you all you need to know about registering for any clinical trials. I hope this helps.
ExploreStemCells - 6-Aug-18 @ 9:38 AM
Any information or an update on the study, or any consideration for future clinical trials please can you get in contact, my dad is at the early stages of recovery after suffering a massive stroke after carotid artery surgery (2 weeks ago). Any help or treatment options that could aid him I would be very interested to know about. Please and thank you. Very sad to see how many lives have been effected by this awful condition. I wish everyone the very best in there our journey and recovery for themselves or there nearest and dearest. I have the greatest respect for you all. those people looking for another avenue may want to start researching hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Allan - 5-Aug-18 @ 9:34 AM
Hi i m 40 yearold had stroke on 2016in octoberwhich effet my left leg n arm I can walk wid steak but cant bend my Le g when i walk n arm is still have titnesssteamcel l is o ly hope for me pls let me know if i cn be part o fyour researh
Harry - 25-Jul-18 @ 1:17 PM
My husband had a 2nd stroke 2017 and it had broken his way of life. He has vision problems,speech problems, right side paralysis and his walking is very limited. I am his full time care giver and he is very depressed. He has asked about this before his second stroke but I had very little information. He would be grateful to have some of his skills back again. If you could help us please notify us
jerry wright - 24-Jun-18 @ 3:55 AM
Hi, I am a 58 year old Male who suffered a massive stroke when I was 44 years old June 20. 2004 I was in real bad shape, my right side was 80% paralyzed, my right arm was 99% paralyzed, couldn't walk, talk, swallow, or use my right arm at all. 6 months of very intense therapy I began to recover somewhat. I am walking, talking, and have limited use of my right arm, I walk with a noticeable limp and can not straighten my right arm all the way out. I've been doing a little reading about stem cell research, and it's benefits. I would like to be considered for any ongoing test or treatment that may help me to regain some, most, or all my motor functions. Thank You very much, Roger
Roger - 13-Jun-18 @ 2:42 PM
I would like to benquire updated with information I have suffered a hemmoragic Stroke a little over two years aho
Emer - 4-Jun-18 @ 8:17 PM
I suffered from cva stroke on 30th jan 2018 it affected my right hand side. Leg and arm i was so determined. To walk again i am walking with splint. And walking stick. But i had a sub lux. Which stopped. Progress with my hand i had a steriod injection to help and my hand. Is still. Non functioning and i am desparate.Id do anything to get ir to work im positive i can fight this. But. I would. Like to take part in your trial please consider me. I want a near normal life back if i Can
Maggie - 2-Jun-18 @ 9:28 AM
In February 2017 I suffered a serious stroke and still have a paralysed left arm, which has affected every aspect of my life.I would be very interested to take part in stemcell treatment trials or undergo approved treatment at a private clinic.Such clinics exist in India, Thailand and parts of Eastern Europe.I have no wish to undergo treatment at any of these places.Is there a licenced clinic in the uk or Ireland offering stemcell treatment for post stroke paralysis?
Hanny - 31-May-18 @ 5:10 PM
My dad had a stroke and it has effected his left aside with cognitive and nerogocial issues.He did everything to help people before and now can't do anything.I asked him to see an Alexander Teacher and do yoga (traditional) but refuses.I try and encourage swimming and repetive exercises but it's like he has given up and says away as a real mans man.Now he gets emotional and upset.Something he would not do and is embarrassed .The stem cell treatment would be amazing for everyone concerned and if trails come up ,please consider my dad also.His grandson loves him dearly and has a lot of respect for him but says he is not the person he once was'.Making life choices he wouldn't normally do .It is like a different person and very hard on the family .Thanks for reading.Melanie
Mel - 29-Apr-18 @ 10:05 AM
Had a stroke 3 years ago right hand side affected. Cannot use right hand. Can walk without walking stick. Eyes have been badly affected. Any help thanks
zanussi - 30-Mar-18 @ 11:54 AM
I had a cerebral Hemorrhage3 years ago.It affected my left hand and leg.I walk but not perfect like it was before. I have almost recovered my left hand but left with spascities , tingling and shoulder becomes heavy. I'm in Belgium.Can I benefit fromstem cell therapy and which European hospitals are conducting chronic hemorrhage stroketrials ? Pleasehelp !!!!
James - 25-Mar-18 @ 4:05 PM
Hi im 48 i had a hemorajic bleed strokeon my right side, at presentmy condition is i can walk without a stick but cant use my left hand, can stem cell treatment help? If you can advise please thanks.
Taff - 22-Mar-18 @ 3:29 PM
I m a 52 yr old man who had a stroke in September 2017. This has left me with left sided weakness. I have never smoked and drink very little alcohol I used to jog 3 times a week. Please can you consider me for stem cell treatment.
dave - 15-Mar-18 @ 7:23 PM
My husband Bob suffered a cerebral hemorrhage 2011.He has rt side deficits & aphasia.He is remarkable as he drives an adapted car.We try to live a normal life but if he could get any return of his rt arm & more strength to his rt leg.it would be his/our ultimate wish.We live in the US & have no problem traveling to the UK.
Sue - 23-Feb-18 @ 8:48 PM
I had a hemorrhagic stroke on June 13 2017 .I walk with a walker and brace. Go to PT and feel like I have platued . I was almost accepted into the Stanford/ UCSF trials but they are only doing eschemic stroke at this time . I am suffering from depression Would like to be included in your trial.
Rolando - 20-Jan-18 @ 5:52 PM
Had an eschemic right side stroke in 2009. Left side debilitated. Shoulder (subluxation) particularly affected, so much so it has become completely frozen and is having serious consequences on the rest of my body.It’s now affecting my right (good) side of my body. Was walking with a stick but can’t do it any more because my body has stiffened up. I am in constant pain. getting absolutely no sleep at night. Am at the end of my tether. I think I would benefit from stem cell treatment.
Berna - 18-Jan-18 @ 12:10 PM
How do I get stem cell treatment for my wife, who is a 59 year old stroke survivor with debilitating left side weakness and some cognitive impairment?
John v8 - 9-Jan-18 @ 2:31 PM
I am paralyzed left hand and fingers. Is there any way you can help me? I want to enjoy my grandbabies. I'm about ready to hive up, I believe and pray god has an answer for me
Mary - 4-Dec-17 @ 2:41 PM
I suffered a left-side Stroke on June 2, 2015 while jogging after work. Today I am wheel-chair bound, although I can use a platform walker.I now drive a modified Van, and live as independently as I can.Are Stem Cells a possibility for me?I was a swimmer and runner, and miss them dearly.What can I do to improve?
George - 3-Dec-17 @ 6:01 PM
Hii had a hemorJic stroke bleed on my right side of brain fell down, i can walk ok but cant use my left hand is there any stemcells trials puthere?
Taff - 18-Oct-17 @ 2:43 PM
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