In a breakthrough discovery for stem cell research, scientists at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have found that stem cells from patients' own bone marrow can be safely infused into the brain to aid in stroke recovery.
The researchers followed 48 patients recovering from strokes over the course of a year. Twenty-nine of them were given the stem cell treatment, while the other 19 were given a placebo. The stem cells were extracted from the patients' own bone marrow at an outside facility, then infused into the patients' bloodstream through a catheter, eventually reaching the brain's internal carotid artery.
The biggest concern the researchers had was that the stem cells might block blood flow in the brain, but since the dose of stem cells was so low, nothing of the kind happened. The patients who were given the stem cell treatment showed better recovery over the course of the year, especially in the areas of motor skills and speech.
According to Dr. Dileep Yavagal of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute and the University of Miami, this effect is largely due to the stem cells' capacity to repair neurons, not because they become neurons themselves.
"Previously it was thought that they transform into neurons and brain tissue, but especially with bone marrow cells that does not seem to be the case. The main effect seems to be through the supportive functions or nursing functions," he told Fox News.
The next step for the researchers is to conduct a larger study to determine the effect of demographic factors on the impact of this kind of treatment.
For information about available stem cell treatments in the Houston and Denver areas, contact the Longevity Centres of America today.