Stem cells may speed stroke recovery

Stem cells could replace “clot-busting” drugs as the treatment of choice shortly after a stroke occurs.  A study published in Stem Cell Research and Therapy found that an injection of stem cells immediately after a stroke could help speed recovery.

Stem cells are like the body’s ‘master cell’ and can transform themselves into any type of cell that the body needs.  So, theoretically, they could replace lost cells due to any injury or disease and aid in recovery.  This particular study, done at La Paz University Hospital in Bolivia, found that rats that were given an injection of stem cells within 30 minutes after an artificially induced stroke recovered most of their brain function within two weeks of the stroke.  What’s interesting is that the stem cells given to the rats did not travel to the area of the brain affected by the stroke yet still seemed to significantly aid in recovery.

Stem cell therapy for stroke victims is a long way from human trials, but the researchers believe this treatment shows much potential.

Sourced from: BBC News, Stem cell 'first aid' for rat stroke