Stem Cells revolution! Stanford University Expert: stem cells Change Adult Brain and Help Recovery of Stroke Patients
stem cells therapy in stroke field, Dr. Gary Steinberg (Gary Steinberg), dean of Stanford University Neurosurgery College, was a leading figure. In 2016, the team small-scale trial of stem cells for stroke which he lead draw lots of attention. After been injected with stem cells, the exercise capacity of the 18 stroke patients was significantly restored. Recently, California Regenerative Medicine Institute ’s ‘Facebook Live’ event invited Dr. Steinberg and his stroke patient Sonia Coontz. Coontz shared her story in the event: After suffering a stroke, her mental and physical suffered serious injury. However, Dr. Steinberg’s stem cells clinical trials changed her life and gave her a new life.
In the Facebook Live, Dr. Steinberg and Dr. Lila Collins, the science officer at the California Regenerative Medicine Institute, answered in detail related to stem cells therapy for stroke. The following review of these issues will hopefully help everyone understand stem cells therapy for stroke better.
01 Why stem cells Can Help Recovery of Stroke Patients?
Dr. Steinberg: when I transplanted human cells into a rodent model, I became interested in stem cells therapy for stroke. We found that when these cells were transplanted to the stroke site (the core area of stroke), they did not survive well, but when transplanted into the area a few millimeters from the core, these cells not only survived, but also migrated to The core area of stroke.
Stem cells have receptors that interact with chemicals released by the stroke environment, which is why these cells can migrate to stroke sites. When stem cells migrate to stroke sites, they can transfer into different types of cells. Importantly, we have found that stem cells can be used to improve the neurological outcome of stroke (model) animals.
With the help of the California Regenerative Medicine Institute, we have received $24 million in funding over the past 8 years and have transferred this method to clinics to better understand the basic mechanisms to restore stroke brains and begin clinical trials.
We originally thought that the transplanted cells would differentiate into the cells in the brain that were damaged by the stroke and form a circuit. Surprisingly, we found that only a handful of transplanted cells became neurons. They mainly enhanced the recovery of stroke areas by secreting very powerful growth factors, molecules, and proteins, and enhanced the ability of the brain to self-recover.
This is not a process of cell replacement, but rather the prompt restoration of damaged areas. In a simple sense, what stem cells are doing is changing the brains of adults so that they can restore themselves.
02 Is stem cells treatment effective for hemorrhagic stroke?
Most studies in the past have focused on ischemic stroke. Now many people are concerned about the effectiveness of stem cells treatment for hemorrhagic stroke.
Dr. Steinberg: I think we will soon promote stem cells therapy to patients with hemorrhagic stroke. 85% of strokes are ischemic strokes and only 15% are hemorrhagic strokes. This is a small, but very important group, because these patients with hemorrhagic stroke are often more disabling than patients with ischemic stroke.
Dr. Collins: I would like to emphasize the clinical trial of a hemorrhagic stroke conducted by the Mayo Clinic. They use mesenchymal stem cells, and in the early stages they mainly assess safety. Currently they are evaluating this method for improving neurological function. However, the patient must be treated within 72 hours after the stroke. But recruiting patients with stroke within 72 hours is very difficult. In the future, scientists may find more ideal combination therapy.
03 Can stem cells Therapy Improve Visual Acuity in Stroke Patients?
Dr. Steinberg: Not yet give an exact answer, but it is very possible. Indeed, these visual circuits are not dead and can be revived. Our current research is not directed at the visual pathway, is primarily directed at motor function, but I am optimistic that stem cells can target stroke patients with vision problems. This is a very important area.
04 Can stem cells help other diseases of the nervous system?
Stem cells can help recovery of stroke patients. Can it help other patients with neurological diseases, such as Parkinson, Huntington and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?
Dr. Steinberg: stem cells therapy is not limited to ischemic stroke. We have extended to traumatic brain injury and have just completed a clinical trial for chronic traumatic brain injury. For other nervous system diseases , stem cells therapy is also possible. We believe that stem cells therapy can be extended to the treatment of more neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson, Alzheimer and etc.We hope that stem cells will have an effect on more neurological diseases, but also hope that everyone will ensure they will be tested in a strict way.
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