Ischemic Stroke Recovery May Be Improved Using Stem Cell Therapy

At the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference in New Orleans, two studies suggested that stem cell therapy improves functional recovery following subacute ischemic stroke and may aid in regenerative therapy.

One hundred and twenty subacute ischemic stroke patients were treated with mononuclear bone marrow-derived stem cells. Patients ranged in age from eighteen to seventy five years old. All were treated within seven to thirty days of suffering their strokes. Each patient was assessed using the Barthel index. The results showed that seventy three percent of patients who were treated with stem cells attained a Barthel score of greater than or equal to 60, which is the measure for assisted independence. Only sixty one percent of the patients who were not treated with stem cells achieved similar scores. All patients were tumor free at one year. This study was performed by Kameshwar Prasad, M.B.B.S., M.D., from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.

In a separate study from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, Rohit Bhatia, M.D. examined autologous mononuclear mesenchymal stem cell therapy in forty stroke patients who were recruited for the study from three months to one year after their strokes. Patients who were treated with stem cells showed significant improvement based on the Barthel index. No adverse reactions were observed. Dr. Bhatia concluded that intravenous administration of mononuclear and mesenchymal stem cells is safe, feasible and likely facilitates behavioral recovery following stroke.

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