Stem Cell Transplant Helps Stroke Patients Walk Again: Study
Data from a study published in the journal Stroke suggest that stem cell treatment offers hope to people left with motor impairment following a stroke. In fact, a small clinical trial found that injecting adult stem cells into the brain of some stroke patients restored motor function for those patients to the extent that some regained the ability to walk.
Each year in the United States, almost 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke, while roughly two-thirds of stroke survivors will experience some form of disability, according to the National Stroke Association.
Eighteen individuals who had experienced a first stroke six months to three years prior were enrolled in this recent study. All of the participants had motor function disability, with some unable to move their arms while others were unable to walk.
"This wasn't just, 'They couldn't move their thumb, and now they can,'" noted Dr. Gary Steinberg, professor and chair of neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine and the study's lead author. "Patients who were in wheelchairs are walking now."