A number of stroke survivors in a small trial showed significant improvements after doctors injected stem cells directly into their brains.
The study, published in the journal Stroke, was designed just to test whether the highly experimental therapy is safe, but the encouraging results raised doctors' hopes that it may eventually turn into a real treatment.
"This wasnt just, 'They couldnt move their thumb, and now they can,'" Dr. Gary Steinberg, the Stanford neurosurgeon who performed 12 of the stem cell procedures, said in a statement. "Patients who were in wheelchairs are walking now."
But the limited number of patients and the lack of a control group mean extreme caution is necessary in interpreting the results, which could be a fluke or the result of a placebo effect. And not all participants experienced such dramatic results. The trial was funded by the company that makes the potential treatment.
"I don't want people to get the idea that we've solved the problem, that this will make them walk again after stroke," Dr. Cathy Sila, a neurosurgeon who was not involved in the study, told VICE News. "The data does not demonstrate that."
Doctors were mostly looking to see if anyone had troubling side effects an important step before the testing of an experimental procedure can continue. But they also noticed patients had somewhat better movement after the injection, and that some patients who had been wheelchair-bound could walk again.
Each of the 18 patients had suffered a stroke up to five years before the trial began, and each had hit the limit in terms of how much physical therapy or rehabilitation could help them recover. A stroke happens when a blood vessel is blocked, cutting off oxygen to the brain and leaving parts of it damaged. These patients struggled to stand, walk, use their arms, or speak.
Scientists wanted to see if stem cells could help rebuild damaged areas of their brains or spur the brain to help repair itself. Each patient had donated stem cells injected directly into their brain near the damage caused by the stroke. According to the Washington Post, that's "relatively simple as far as brain surgery goes."
Most of the patients had headaches after the procedure, and some had other side effects like nausea and depression, but at least in this small group there was nothing severe. The stem cells that were injected are believed to only survive for about a month, something scientists gleaned from earlier studies in rats. But in the study patients, stronger motor skills were noticeable even a year after the treatment.
Scott Olson / Getty Images
Most people who survive a stroke experience lasting problems. Yet existing treatments only work if they are applied within hours of the stroke.
"At six months out from a stroke, you dont expect to see any further recovery," Steinberg said in the Stanford statement.
That's one reason doctors were so encouraged by what they observed in this small group: If the results hold up after further testing, it could make a real difference for patients.
The idea of using stem cells to treat stroke survivors has intrigued doctors for at least 10 years. There have been many attempts and different formulations of this potential treatment, andthey haven't been terribly successful so far.Yetmany studies are still ongoing, and injecting stem cellsdirectly into the brain is a much newer idea that certainlywarrants further research after these preliminary, encouraging results.
Still,don't expect stem cell injections for stroke to be widely available any time soon.
In the case of this latest study, it's unclear, one expert told the Washington Post, whether the stem cells themselves played any part in the perceived improvements. That's impossible to determine without a control group that receives a similar-seeming injection that doesn't actually contain stem cells. And there were far too few participants in the trial to make any real conclusions about how effective the treatment is; the study was designed only to look at safety.
Before stem cells could become a real treatment for stroke survivors, much larger, controlled studies are needed to show whether it really works and to see whether any scary side effects show up in a larger group. One trial that will eventually include about 150 patients is already underway.
While this kind of research takes many years (and usually does not pan out), doctors are encouraged by what they saw in the 18 patients in the trial. The resultssuggest that, at the very least, some of the faculties lost by stroke survivorsmay not actually be gone forever if only scientists can figure out how to restore them.
Read the original:
Doctors used stem cells to treat stroke symptoms ...
- Kyle Larson's First Payday After His NASCAR Suspension is Smaller Than You Might Think - Sportscasting - May 26th, 2020
- COVID-19: The Prevention Prescription - The New Indian Express - May 26th, 2020
- We must follow the rules to keep out coronavirus - Gulf News - May 26th, 2020
- Japanese newborn to receive the worlds first liver stem cell - News Landed - May 23rd, 2020
- First American to Receive Placental Cell Treatment For COVID-19 is an Acclaimed Broadway Scenic Designer - Science Times - May 23rd, 2020
- We now have a special power to kill the virus - Bangalore Mirror - May 23rd, 2020
- In the race to find a Covid-19 cure, leaders must not forget other diseases in need of research funds - The National - May 22nd, 2020
- Indian tennis: For injury-plagued Yuki Bhambri, the lockdown is both a chance and another challenge - Scroll.in - May 22nd, 2020
- Who Believe? Chad Coulter's spirit lives on through his son on and off the field - Dave Campbell's Texas Football - May 19th, 2020
- Mike Tyson reveals doctors gave him translucent blood injection that left him feeling weird during stem cel - The Sun - May 19th, 2020
- Doctor, Heal Thyself: Physician Burnout In The Wake Of Covid-19 - Forbes - May 19th, 2020
- Outbreak on edge of Navajo Nation overwhelms rural hospital - Yahoo Lifestyle - May 19th, 2020
- More than 290000 Covid-19 cases in Mena - MEED - May 19th, 2020
- Beware This COVID-19 Vaccine 'Study' From an 80s Teen Tech Titan and a Carnivorous Plant Smuggler - The Daily Beast - May 19th, 2020
- Higher risk of infection, changes to treatment makes COVID-19 a double threat for cancer patients - theday.com - May 16th, 2020
- Nancy Davidson describes plans for reopening the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance as COVID-19 wave recedes - The Cancer Letter - May 16th, 2020
- The Latest Technological Innovations in Orthopedic Surgery 2020 Technology - IMC Grupo - May 16th, 2020
- The first breakthrough coronavirus antibody drug might finally be here - BGR - May 16th, 2020
- Coronavirus: The trials and triumphs of UAE residents - Gulf News - May 16th, 2020
- Daughter of former journalist who died of colon cancer battling cancer of the bones - Nairobi News - May 16th, 2020
- Cancer treatment inspires new dad to raise 18k for NNUH with mass head shave - Eastern Daily Press - May 16th, 2020
- Doubts cast on claims that '19m Brits have had coronavirus' - Yahoo Lifestyle - May 16th, 2020
- UAE's first Covid-19 patient to recover after stem-cell therapy tells of medical journey - The National - May 12th, 2020
- Doctors Say Inflammation Might be the Root of COVID-19 Along with Other Diseases Such as Cancer and Dementia - Tech Times - May 12th, 2020
- Umbilical cord stem cells have the potential to treat COVID-19 - Open Access Government - May 12th, 2020
- Growing Number of Patients Suffering From Neurological Disorder to Support the Growth of Global Autologous Cell Therapy Market, TMR - PRNewswire - May 12th, 2020
- Q&A: 'Survivor' champ Ethan Zohn's deep Colorado connection, who he was shocked to see on the beach and his epic episode - Colorado Springs Gazette - May 12th, 2020
- EDITORIAL: Excessive haste in approving COVID-19 drugs is a no-no : The Asahi Shimbun - Asahi Shimbun - May 12th, 2020
- Tens of thousands of cancer patients STILL havent received NHS coronavirus shielding letters - The Sun - May 12th, 2020
- Coronavirus: Latest updates on COVID-19 crisis around the world - Outlook India - May 10th, 2020
- Needs way to measure pain besides the scale of 1-10 - Coastal Courier - May 1st, 2020
- Brave intensive care nurse, 27, diagnosed with rare cancer just weeks after dream wedding dies of disease - The Sun - May 1st, 2020
- RIP Rishi Kapoor! Succumbing to Leukemia, Veteran Actor Dies at 67 in Mumbai, Here is all You Need to Know Ab - India.com - May 1st, 2020
- The teenager who survived cancer, sepsis and a collapsed lung - Wales Online - May 1st, 2020
- Shares of Mesoblast Tumbled Over 20% Today After Doubling Last Week - The Motley Fool - April 29th, 2020
- THE BENEFITS OF TADALAFIL FOR ENLARGED PROSTATE AND ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION - RecentlyHeard.com - April 29th, 2020
- Cancer treatment made me infertile at 29heres how Im planning to have a family now - Well+Good - April 27th, 2020
- Incarceration Is Killing Us - Truthout - April 27th, 2020
- Coronavirus Doctors experiment with stem cell therapy on COVID-19 patients CBS News 9:39 AM - KTVQ Billings News - April 26th, 2020
- Call for 'sofa life-savers' as stem cell register takes a hit - Hereford Times - April 26th, 2020
- How effective is PLX cell therapy in treating coronavirus? Experts answer all queries and more - India TV News - April 24th, 2020
- VIDEO: Is It Allergies or COVID-19? - HealthDay Live - HealthDay Coronavirus Liveblog - April 24th, 2020
- HealthDay Reports: More Good News on Remdesivir's Power to Treat COVID-19 - HealthDay Coronavirus Liveblog - April 22nd, 2020
- 'Stem cell therapy more effective on Covid-19' - Korea Biomedical Review - April 21st, 2020
- Planned Clinical Trial of Allogeneic Stem Cell Therapy Remestemcel-L in Patients with COVID-19 - Cancer Network - April 21st, 2020
- What are the underlying conditions causing more serious illness from coronavirus? - KSBW The Central Coast - April 20th, 2020
- What are the underlying conditions causing more serious illness from coronavirus? - WPBF West Palm Beach - April 18th, 2020
- Devoted coach, father and husband remembered for 'bringing out the best' in people throughout life - Elk Grove Citizen - April 18th, 2020
- Helping the helpers - The Jewish Standard - April 18th, 2020
- List of coronavirus treatments now being tested in clinical trials - Business Insider UK - April 18th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Set to Witness an Uptick during 2017 to 2025 - Science In Me - April 13th, 2020
- A Quarantine Trendsetter - Long Island Weekly News - April 13th, 2020
- What We Know About Masks and the New Coronavirus - The New Yorker - April 13th, 2020
- TISSUE REGENERATION TECHNOLOGIES Announces That Its First Coronavirus Clinical Trial Has Been Initiated Utilizing Unfocused Shockwave Therapy... - April 13th, 2020
- Michael Schumacher health: The truth about the F1 champ's recovery after a devastating head injury in 2013 - EconoTimes - April 13th, 2020
- Michael Schumacher health: Timeline of F1 champion's recovery bid - Express.co.uk - April 13th, 2020
- Column: Scientific advancements in the time of COVID-19 and what they offer us - The Daily Tar Heel - April 8th, 2020
- COVID-19 Tips for Patients with Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Acute Myeloid Leukemia - Curetoday.com - April 8th, 2020
- Medical 'Wonder Women' making a difference in the region's fight on coronavirus - The Arab Weekly - April 8th, 2020
- Ive had Seder in isolation, and this is my message of hope - The Jerusalem Post - April 8th, 2020
- Did a Cult Hair-Care Line Cause Thousands of Women to Lose Their Hair? - The New York Times - April 8th, 2020
- Coronavirus can cause loss of smell and scientists think they know why - ZME Science - April 8th, 2020
- Former England footballer Geoff Thomas backs Mirror campaign to give NHS heroes a medal - Mirror Online - April 8th, 2020
- Roma woman tells of her 'life-changing' MS treatment - Whitsunday Times - April 8th, 2020
- Working Together Working Together: Indianapolis couple offers Airbnb to healthcare workers Nicole Griffin 1:41 PM - WRTV Indianapolis - March 30th, 2020
- Smith trying to turn the corner on cancer battle - Johnson City Press (subscription) - March 30th, 2020
- Adam Castillejo 'feared dying of cancer more than Aids and considered ending it all at Dignitas' Daily Mail - westofthepond.com - March 30th, 2020
- Cell and gene therapy startup ElevateBio raises $170 million - Yahoo Lifestyle - March 30th, 2020
- Tom Coburn, the Dr. No of Congress, Is Dead at 72 - The New York Times - March 28th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market to Witness Growth Acceleration During 2017 2025 - Daily Science - March 28th, 2020
- Iranian scientist claims to have invented drug for COVID-19 treatment - The Express Tribune - March 28th, 2020
- Indian doctors try to find out how they can build interferon through human cells to treat COVID-19 patients - Times Now - March 28th, 2020
- Explainer: what is cocooning and how can it be implemented? - Independent.ie - March 28th, 2020
- More Than A Survivor: Stories of Warriors - Curetoday.com - March 26th, 2020
- Lost Smell and Taste Hint COVID-19 Can Target the Nervous System - The Scientist - March 26th, 2020
- While we were stockpiling, here's what astronauts were up to in space last week - CNN - March 26th, 2020
- While we were stockpiling, here's what astronauts were up to in space last week - KTVZ - March 26th, 2020
- Michael Schumacher health: Neurosurgeon contradicted Jean Todt statements that F1 legend is 'still fighting,' says Schumi is different now -... - March 24th, 2020
- COVID-19 forcing Wisconsin's incarceration system to adapt - Wisconsin Examiner - March 24th, 2020
- Canton woman, man have stories to tell about cancer survivors - Wicked Local Canton - March 24th, 2020