Stem Cells Therapy & Strokes
Stem cells therapy is a healing process which involves injecting an affected body part with undifferentiated cells to help it become functional again. Thus, this therapy is now being tested for stroke patients.
Stem cells or undifferentiated cells are called as such because the cell is in a state in which it has not identified its function yet in the body–that is whether it is to become blood or nerve or a part of an organ or a bone. This undifferentiated state gives doctors and scientists the opportunity to use these cells in creating body parts or to regenerate or replace defective cells, tissues, and body parts. It’s like allowing the body to heal itself in a focused, efficient, and faster way–much like a natural repair kit.
Cases in which this therapy has been used include body amputation, revival of kidney function, and healthy cells regeneration to treat cancer and lymphoblastic leukemia. The success of using stem cells therapy in these treatments has prompted medical professionals worldwide to further explore its benefits, particularly to treat stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Initially, undifferentiated cells were taken from new born babies, specifically from the umbilical cord that’s thrown during birth. Stem cells from this source are called cord blood stem cells and are taken as soon as the birthing process has transpired, ensuring no interference with it and that the source is still fresh to keep it from spoilage. This then is kept at -196 degrees Celcius for lifetime storage being in a no-aging state temperature.
There are now two efforts in testing the viability of stem cell therapy for the treatment of stroke. One involves using cord blood stem cells that are injected into the brain of the stroke victim to repair damaged areas of the brain, which in turn will improve the mental and functional abilities of the patient.
Based from Scotland, the team undertaking this trial aims to test the safety and feasibility of undifferentiated cell therapy at various dosages to 12 patients monitored for the next 2 years. This trial will progress in the treatment of ischemic stroke once the first phase of the trial shows positive and successful results.
The other trial, based from U.S., involves using stems from an adult human’s bone marrow and using it to treat stroke. Dose escalation and safety clinical trial is under way for human application. Once successful, the stem cells will be tested to treat ischemic stroke. Clinical-grade safe drugs or biological products will then be manufactured out of these testings once it has been approved viable for human application.
Stem cells therapy for stroke patients may seem a long-shot from now, yet necessary to ensure its effectiveness in treating stroke. Caregivers of stroke patients should, therefore, be always on the lookout for developments in stroke patients’ treatment to expedite rehabilitation as soon as approval for use has been given.