Stem Cells and Stroke
Most strokes result from a blockage in a brain artery which stops the flow of oxygen-rich blood. Following the blockage, the nerve cells lacking oxygen die, disrupting the neuronal circuits and leading to permanent neurological and physical disability and long-lasting handicaps.
By transplanting embryonic stem cells, it is possible to repair the damaged brain and recover the lost body functions.
The mechanism involved in the brain healing is not fully understood ( see our brain injury
page) but what we observe is a progressive recovery of the brain functions followed by a recovery of the speech and mobility functions.
Our understanding is that at the time of the stroke
, the brain produces astrocytes and neural stem cells whose functions are to stop the damage to spread and produce new neurones and new neuronal connections. This repair is however limited in time and after a few days, the self-healing mechanism has stopped.
By injecting Embryonic Stem Cells, the self-healing mechanism is triggered again and the patient's brain starts to produce new neural stem cells which go to the damaged areas and create new neurons and new neuronal connections. By repeating the Embryonic Stem Cell injections every 6 or 7 days, it keeps the brain healing system running and achieves the most efficient repair after stroke
The best results are observed after a minimum of 3 injections. Results vary depending on the extent of the damages and on the overall health of the patients. It is however our pleasure to say that among all the diseases that are treated by stem cells, stroke is probably the one that shows the most spectacular results. We have seen patients talking again after only two injections, patients able to move an arm or walk again. The depression present in most stroke patients is also lifted quickly after the first embryonic stem cell treatment.
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