The devastating effects of stroke have long led physicians to conclude that lost brain function is irreversible. During the 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), researchers presented the results of a groundbreaking study that offers new hope to stroke patients.
In the first North American trial of its kind, researchers conducted intraparenchymal transplantation of bone marrow-derived cell therapy in chronic stroke patients. Titled A Novel Phase 1/2A Study of Intraparenchymal Transplantation of Human Modified Bone Marrow Derived Cells in Patients with Stable Ischemic Stroke, the study tested the feasibility of administering escalated doses of stromal cells. Numerous preclinical animal stroke studies showing the benefit of stem cell transplantation led to the initiation of this clinical trial.
The study was led by Gary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD, FAANS: "Although this was primarily a safety study, we found a significant recovery of neurologic function in patients overall at six months that is sustained at one year. Two of the 18 transplanted patients showed remarkable improvement."
Transplanted patients continued to recover substantial neurologic function two years or more following their stroke, said Dr. Steinberg: "This suggests that the affected neural circuits following stroke are not dead, but potentially still viable and can be reactivated, which is contrary to the currently accepted dogma."
The clinical findings have led to new studies using brain stimulation of circuits to restore neurologic function in animal stroke models.
The above story is based on materials provided by American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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