A pilot study at Imperial College London indicates that infusing stem cells into the brain during the first week after a stroke may improve recovery. Patients were more likely to be able to walk and look after themselves independently by the end of the trial.
This experimental treatment, on just a few patients, involved the use of a particular types of stem cells (CD34+) which stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in damaged areas of the brain. Larger trials investigating this technique are planned.
Mundasad, S. (2014). ‘Stem cells show promise in stroke recovery’. London: BBC Health News, August 9th 2014.
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Banerjee, S. Bentley, P. [and] Hamady, M. [et al] (2014). Intra-arterial immunoselected CD34+ stem cells for acute ischemic stroke. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. August 8th 2014. [Epub ahead of print].
More recent developments in stem cell research and therapy are outlined elsewhere.
Incidental: On the Perils of Premature Over-Exuberance in Stem Cell Research
Professor Yoshiki Sasai, although cleared direct misconduct by an investigation into discredited stem cell research, has been found dead at RIKEN’s Centre for Developmental Biology in Kobe (Japan).
Webb, J. (2014). Stem cell scientist found dead in apparent suicide. London: BBC News – Science and Environment, August 5th 2014.
Gallagher, J. (2014). Stem cell scandal scientist Haruko Obokata resigns. London: BBC Health News, December 19th 2014.