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Stem Cells for Stroke Victims

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 22 Apr 2017 | 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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[Add a Comment]
Suffered a hemorrhagic stroke in 2017 January l leaving me with left side weakness is there any case study that I might be eligible for stem cell please contact
Fab - 22-Apr-17 @ 2:03 AM
I suffer from right side hemorrhagic stroke the left my left side weakness one of the clinicals stem cell trial studies I may be eligible to participate it I hadin in 2017 January
Fab - 22-Apr-17 @ 2:01 AM
Had a stroke in April 2016 at the age of 72. I have recovered most of my functions but speech and short term memory are impaired. Speech is particularly annoying, as I am a broadcaster. Depth, resonance & power are all diminished and it feels as though my vocal chords are strangulated. I would willingly volunteer to be a research subject. I live in France.
daveboys - 14-Feb-17 @ 2:54 PM
Jackie - Your Question:
Hi, had my third stroke in 1994 at the age of 21, now I'm 43 and find my movement getting worse and wondered if I'd be eligible for stem cell therapy? My last stroke took my right side and although I have gained enough movement to walk aided with an AFO I would love to get more back and not be dependent on crutches or the help of others. Would I qualify for a clinical trial?Many thanksJackie

Our Response:
You would have to keep an eye on the NHS trials, link here. I hope this helps.
ExploreStemCells - 13-Feb-17 @ 12:36 PM
My son has a significant other who stroked at 49. Left side paralysis. Very verbal but she has leftside vision limits. The right 'dead' part of brain removed due to swelling after first operation. Question: In the absence of the right brain section removed, can stem cell therapy work to stimulate remaining brain matter to help repair affected side? She is in long term facility. Thank you for your response.
Jay - 12-Feb-17 @ 6:10 PM
Hi,had my third stroke in 1994 at the age of 21, now I'm 43 and find my movement getting worse and wondered if I'd be eligible for stem cell therapy?My last stroke took my right side and although I have gained enough movement to walk aided with an AFO I would love to get more back and not be dependent on crutches or the help of others. Would I qualify for a clinical trial? Many thanks Jackie
Jackie - 12-Feb-17 @ 11:49 AM
I'm writing on behalf of my twin brother. He has unfortunately had air go to the brain and also clots, the story is to long to write and he is currently in ICU having been their for the last 6 weeks. We are running out of options and time. Please email if you wish to know more. Kind regards C
We are running out o - 14-Jan-17 @ 11:39 PM
I have been following stem cell therapy for stroke with interest and have volunteered for clinical trials with no luck.Usually I do not even receive an acknowlegement.I have been told by my neurologist that I suffered 'the wrong' type of stroke.This perplexed me until it was explained that in stroke research ischemic strokes tend to be considered first due the frequency of them compared to haemmorhagic strokes. My brain exploded 4 years ago whilst I was pregnant leaving me with a dense left hemi and I remain mostly paralysed down my left side but the fatigue is now my biggest enemy.I would happily send my brain to researchers in a pickling jar if they could only restore a little more function.
Lucy - 13-Jan-17 @ 9:42 PM
I suffered a mild stroke on 27 Dec 2014, 57 years old at the time.Everything is functional but my vision was impacted somewhat.Vision is just a little blurrey.My quality of life could be so much better with just a little improvement in my vision. Is anybody working on vision issues after stroke.I assume stem cells could possibly help?
Jimmy - 27-Dec-16 @ 6:27 AM
Hi, i was wondering how could i take part of the trail, im 28, had the stroke for two years after being stabbed in the neck by a domestic voilence ex partner.. im keen to take part of the clinical trail thank you x
Burnettechick - 5-Nov-16 @ 11:36 PM
In April 1997, I just turn 19, I had my first procedure, (an embolization) to fix an AV Malformation on my motorstrip on the right side of my brain.During the procedure there were complications and swelling.I had a severe stroke and woke up on the operating table with my left side paralyzed. The past 19 years have been challenging. I got some movement back up until I turned 30c then my left and and left arm started getting very spastic and losing function. And now at 38 my left side is about 75% paralyzed.Are there any clinical trials available anywhere for me to participate in?
Dmar2480 - 28-Sep-16 @ 11:06 AM
I suffered a stroke 2 years which left me with left sided heminopia.Any stem cell trails into vision loss.
Steve - 20-Sep-16 @ 12:01 PM
Hi I'm a 47 year old male.I suffered a righ sided stroke.It affected my left side side and have left sided heminopia.Any stem cell trail into visual loss.
Steve - 20-Sep-16 @ 11:53 AM
Hi I had a left sided Brain haemorrhage in my frontal lobe caused by an AVM which has now been removed in November 2014 which left me with paralysis on my right side I have recovered a small amount of function and gained I little of my speech back. I am now 41 years old and I wanted to know if stem cell therapy maybe an option for me and if so how would I go about getting on a trial for stem cell research
Kazmatt - 16-Sep-16 @ 9:26 PM
Here in america caring for a woman who has lost everything due to a series of stroke and unfortunate events. Hope for future has gotten dimmer everyday. Its been ten years. Interested in an alternative to waiting for death.
Dez - 14-Sep-16 @ 7:30 AM
Nadia- Your Question:
Hi my brother 28, suffered a major stroke fm due to a post op complication of a anuersym operation. He has been hospitalised for a month and there is little improvement. Could you please advise me on stem cell therapy thanks

Our Response:
I am very sorry to hear this. However, you would have to speak to his doctor/consultant directly regarding this as we cannot advise.
ExploreStemCells - 12-Sep-16 @ 12:36 PM
Hi my brother 28, suffered a major stroke fm due to a post op complication of a anuersym operation. He has been hospitalised for a month and there is little improvement. Could you please advise me on stem cell therapy thanks
Nadia - 11-Sep-16 @ 8:35 PM
My partner suffered a brain stem stroke via being hit by a car as a pedestrian in 2013 He has left sided paralysis and limited right side movement, speech problems, facial palsy amongst others he's only 40 now and has a young family of 3 of his own children and my 5 children he was fit,active outgoing previously but now is struggling daily please are there any trials or recommendations for private treatment you can advise on
Tracey-dee - 30-Aug-16 @ 4:29 PM
I am a consultant physician in Northern Ireland unfortunately my 23 year old previously healthy son had a cerebral bleed following an elective coiling procedure for an AV malformation.he ispatient of mr Kevin o neilCharing Cross hospital.are you recruiting for stem cel studies jack is mentally perfect and wants to pursue this route himself travel is not a problem
Pat - 28-Aug-16 @ 1:21 PM
Humu Kaloko - Your Question:
I had a massive stroke in January 8th,2016 after coiling of aneurysm. The stroke affected my left side. I am currently bed bound; and not able to do anything for myself. My wife is looking at taking human stern cell; but we may have to travel from New Jersey to California.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear about your stroke. Unfortunately, as we are a UK-based site, we only have information on UK/Europe-based clinical research options. However, I would make sure you carefully research any organisation you may wish to explore. While stem-cell research is progressing fast, many claims from companies offering fee-paying treatment are not yet supported by sound scientific evidence.
ExploreStemCells - 8-Aug-16 @ 9:59 AM
i had a massive stroke in January 8th,2016 after coiling of aneurysm. The stroke affected my left side. i am currently bed bound; and not able to do anything for myself. My wife is looking at taking human stern cell; but we may have to travel from New Jersey to California.
Humu Kaloko - 7-Aug-16 @ 1:09 AM
Hello I was just wondering if there is any way of fonding out how I could put myself forward to take part in the trials and violent ever in England I'm 30 years old I suffered my stroke at the young age of 24 I'm a mother of one 6 year old I would love to get some form of normality back with the help of stem cell I would love to be able to hold my lil girls hand and walk with her like a normal mother and child any help would be greatly appreciated many thanks Sam x
Sam - 4-Aug-16 @ 12:37 AM
tutu - Your Question:
I had a stroke 5 years ago on the right I am 37 years old and I suffer with aprexia and paralized in my right arm and hand and walk with a limp is their any trails in melbourne australia I can look into as I want my life back thank u

Our Response:
As we are a UK-based site, we can only advise on UK-based clinical trials etc and we can't recommend specific centres. However, as you may be aware there is a stem cell treatment centre in Melbourne and it may be able to point you in the right direction regarding clinical trials.
ExploreStemCells - 28-Jul-16 @ 10:07 AM
I had a stroke 5 years ago on the right I am 37 years old and i suffer with aprexia and paralized in my right arm and hand and walk with a limp is their any trails in melbourne australia i can look into as i want my life back thank u
tutu - 27-Jul-16 @ 2:31 AM
I had a stroke in 2013 with left side weakness I wish to sign up for stem cell treatment if possible can you help please
big baz - 10-Jul-16 @ 5:05 PM
I had ischemic stroke five years ago which caused me paralysis on my left side and sever muscular spasm,so I always like to connect to the internet to look for theadvances made on stroke treatment with stem cell. But what I find all is a promise not a n established way of treatment. it seems it requires a long way beforehumans can actually receive stroke treatment with stem cell . possibly many will pass away before stroke treatment with stem cell could reach to the level that would be an established way of treatment
Gack - 26-Jun-16 @ 9:57 PM
I had ischemic stroke for five years now and I have left hemiplegiaI often connect to the itnerrnet to search for any possible way to treat my stoke .I read your report and found it as others to be in the research level , not yet as a established method of treatment for strokeI trust one day you will find it to be applied to humans as anestabelished methodof treatment .
Gack - 26-Jun-16 @ 9:31 PM
i got stroke,on 11/2/11. age-55 male bp-8 yr sugar-8 yr
gund - 18-Jun-16 @ 7:06 AM
Jay- Your Question:
I wish with all my heart to participate in trials. I had a stroke 8 years ago, lost left side of most functions and would dearly love to regain it. Do you have a spot for me?

Our Response:
We are not a clinical trials website. You would have to apply directly via the link here. I hope this helps.
ExploreStemCells - 14-Jun-16 @ 1:57 PM
I wish with all my heart to participate in trials. I had a stroke 8 years ago, lost left side of most functions and would dearly love to regain it. Do you have a spot for me?
Jay - 13-Jun-16 @ 6:46 PM
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