Can stem cell help stroke victims?

Louis A. Cona M.D.

This post briefly explains how a stroke occurs and how stem cell therapy may benefit stroke victims.

Strokes affect nearly 795,000 people in the United States alone every year and can strike at any age. Until recently, only very little could be done to prevent brain damage as a result of the stroke if not caught early and given treatment within hours of its occurrence. However, recent studies and clinical trials with stem cells conducted on real stroke victims have shown amazing results.

What causes a Stroke?

A stroke occurs when the brain is temporarily deprived of oxygen due to an interruption of blood flow. This is often caused by blood vessels leaking or rupturing; also called a hemorrhagic stroke. Other types of strokes, called ischemic strokes, are caused by small obstructions in the blood vessel. These can often be pieces of plaque or blood clots. Ischemic strokes account for nearly 87 percent of all stroke annually. In either case, the interruption of blood flow to the brain causes brain cells to start dying within minutes, possibly leading to lasting brain injury and neurological issues. Until now, standard treatments, such as tissue plasminogen activators (tPA), were used to dissolve the blood clot. However, these treatments were limited by time. If not administered within hours of the stroke, they are largely ineffective at preventing lasting disability.

How can Stem Cells help?

Stem cells have a naturally regenerative and anti-inflammatory effect, seeking out damaged tissue in the body. For this reason, Stanford University School of Medicine turned to stem cells for clinical trials in healing stroke victims of different ages, anywhere from 6 months to 3 years after their stroke had occurred. The trial included 18 individuals, average age of 61, and used stem cell transplant therapy directly to the brain. The stem cells were derived from donor bone marrow. Within months, all participants showed signs of improved motor function. The patients showed an average increase in 11.4 points on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, a stroke-specific impairment test, and the results held for years after treatment as monitored by the university. This trial made large strides in proving that stem cells could effectively treat stroke symptoms years after a patient’s stroke occurrence, and could also be effective at any age.

3 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Tyler explains his experience at DVC Stem in the Cayman Islands.

Tyler is optimistic that he will see positive results post treatment.

"The cool thing about the Cayman Islands besides being beautiful, it was an opportunity to get some rest and relaxation allowing my body to heal and restore. I'm back in the US now and feel like I am ready to conquer the world."

- Tyler Heid

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

2 weeks post treatment, MS patient Tyler is beginning to see amazing progress. He has been wheelchair bound for the last year and has not been able to move his legs unassisted before now.

2 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Tyler updates about his progress, explaining the amazing response he has been receiving from his friends and family.

"People coming up to me saying I am moving, talking and smiling so much better. They are noticing a lot of things that have improved over the course of 3 months."

"This morning I was able to do things that I was unable to do before, I was able to stand up and lift my leg higher than I ever have before."

5 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

5 months post treatment Tyler sends us an update on his progress.

"I'm able to smile better, I have more control over the left side of my face."

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler is optimistic and on the right track to recovery. We are ecstatic to see his progress and look forward to more updates from him.

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler Heid - 5 months post treatment

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

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