Stem cell shot helps stroke patients recover: Study
Posted Mar 12 2010 12:00am
NOT directly pertaining to Multiple Sclerosis, but still a step in the right direction
Information was provided by a few of our e-list members from India:
New Delhi: A single shot of 100 million bone marrow stem cells is helping severe stroke patients return back to normal life!
Given within a month of suffering the stroke that led to partial paralysis, 90% of patients who received the shot at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) during a pilot study regained their ability to carry out simple day-to-day activities like taking a shower or changing clothes within the first six months. Neurologists from AIIMS along with doctors from PGI (Chandigarh), SGPGI (Lucknow), Armed Forces Medical College (Pune) and Army R&R Hospital (Delhi) have been conducting a collaborative trial since June 2006 to see if stem cells taken from the patient’s own hip bone helped repair the damage of a severe stroke after being injected back into the patient’s antecubital vein (in the forearms, near the elbow).
Though the study results of 120 subjects is expected by October, the initial analysis of 19 patients (38-75 years of age) — 11 who received the stem cell shot and eight who did not — have thrown up some exciting results. Dr Kameshwar Prasad, professor of neurology at AIIMS, who will announce this finding at the National Congress of Indian Stroke Association on Friday, said around 90% of 11 patients who received the stem cell shot were able to carry out daily activities like walking, using the toilet, taking a bath, dressing and eating independently, within six months of the stroke. None of these patients could carry out such activities at the beginning of the study. In comparison, 75% of those who didn’t receive stem cells could perform equally. Again, 50% of those who received stem cell therapy recovered from neurological deficits like weakness of one limb and inability to walk caused by the stroke and greatly reduced their handicap in comparison to 16% in the control group. As far as managing to carry out previous activities like playing golf, working in office and cooking were concerned, 45% of those who received the shot showed progress as against 12.5% of those who didn’t receive stem cells. Dr Prasad said, “We will complete our analysis by October on 120 patients and only then will we know stem cells’ actual benefits on stroke patients. Till now, 52 patients are being analysed.” He added, “However, an initial analysis on 19 patients, findings of which will be presented at the conference, has thrown up very positive results. After carrying out Pet scans and MRIs, we can also confirm that stem cell therapy has proved safe with no negative side effects whatsoever.” Funded by the department of biotechnology, which has shelled out Rs 2 crore, the trial started in June 2006. Dr Prasad said the study was expected to finish by October 2011. This is how stem cell therapy works — physicians remove stem cells from patient’s bone marrow from hip bone, purify them and intravenously return them to the patient within a few hours. Research shows that stem cells have an instinctive guidance system and migrate to the area of injury. MARROW ESCAPE 90% of 11 patients who received the stem cell shot were able to carry out daily activities like walking, taking a bath, eating independently, within six months of the stroke 50% of those who received stem cell therapy recovered from neurological deficits like weakness of one limb and inability to walk Research shows that stem cells have an instinctive guidance system and migrate to the area of injury!!