New Hope for Stroke Recovery: Time Window for Stem Cell Treatment Extended

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Every year, millions of people worldwide suffer a stroke. A stroke happens when blood flow to part of the brain is cut off, killing brain cells. The effects can be devastating, leaving survivors with problems moving, speaking, and thinking. Until recently, there were few treatments to help the brain recover. The medicine that can break up blood clots (tPA) can help limit damage from a stroke, but only if it’s given within a few hours of the stroke happening. Most people miss this short time period to get the medicine.

Now, a groundbreaking new treatment is offering hope for stroke patients, even days later: stem cell therapy. And leading the charge is the Stem Cell Medical Center. Located in the beautiful country of Antigua, we provide cutting-edge stem cell treatments to patients from around the globe. One of our most promising therapies is for stroke, using a special type of stem cell from umbilical cords.

How Stem Cells Can Heal the Stroke-Damaged Brain

How can stem cells heal the stroke-damaged brain? For a long time, experts believed the brain could not generate new cells. Any brain cells killed by stroke were thought to be gone forever. But in the past decade, an amazing discovery was made – the adult brain does contain stem cells, capable of creating new neurons and other brain cells. This process, called neurogenesis, has become an exciting new target for treating stroke and other brain injuries.

The body’s natural ability to regenerate brain tissue is not enough to reverse the harm done by a stroke. But what if we could enhance this repair capacity? That’s where stem cells come in. Stem cells are like blank slates that can mature into any cell type. By delivering stem cells to the damaged area, we aim to regenerate the lost brain matter and restore function.

Two ways to use stem cells for stroke recovery are being tested. One involves extracting stem cells from the patient’s own bone marrow or fat tissue. However, these adult stem cells are limited in number and may have lost some reparative power over time. The other, more promising strategy uses stem cells from donated umbilical cords or young fetal tissue. These immature cells can turn into brain cells more readily. Gathering them does not require surgery on the patient. And umbilical cord cells are easily collected from tissue that would otherwise be discarded after birth, avoiding ethical concerns.

Advantages of Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

At the Stem Cell Medical Center, we specialize in treating patients with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cords. MSCs are not the blood-forming stem cells you may have heard of. Instead, they are extracted from cord tissue. Compared to adult MSCs, cord-derived MSCs offer distinct advantages for healing the brain:

  • More robust and faster growth
  • Enhanced ability to develop into neural cells
  • Powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects
  • Large amount in stock and ready to be bought
  • Proven safety in experimental and human studies

In animal models of stroke, cord blood MSCs migrate to the site of injury and get to work. They release growth factors that promote the birth of new neurons from the brain’s resident stem cells. They form nurturing bridges that guide these baby neurons to make connections. As they integrate into the brain’s wiring, these new cells can take over the functions of the neurons killed by stroke. Cord MSCs also dial down harmful inflammation, create new blood vessels to improve circulation, and even rescue damaged neurons, keeping them from dying.

Human Trials Pave the Way for Larger Studies

While most stem cell stroke studies have been in animals, a few small human trials have paved the way for larger ones. Transplants of adult stem cells from bone marrow were found to be safe for stroke patients. They also appeared to aid recovery compared to untreated patients. More recently, cord blood stem cells have produced exciting results in patients disabled by stroke. When infused intravenously, these cells significantly improved movement, sensation, and brain activity. The gains persisted for months, suggesting the cells had been engrafted in the brain. No serious side effects occurred, confirming the safety seen in animal studies.

The Stem Cell Medical Center’s Approach

At the Stem Cell Medical Center, patient safety is our top priority. We follow strict protocols to ensure the umbilical cord stem cells we use are thoroughly tested for purity and potency. Our clinical team has years of experience delivering stem cells in a way that maximizes their migration to the brain while minimizing risks.

What can patients treated at our center expect? First, a comprehensive evaluation by our neurologists and rehabilitation specialists to assess the extent of post-stroke disability. Then, an infusion of millions of umbilical cord MSCs, specially processed to home in on the damaged areas of the brain, Periodic follow-up visits allow us to track each patient’s progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed. Many patients begin noticing improvements in mobility, balance, and speech within a few months.

Looking to the Future of Stroke Recovery

As clinical evidence for cord blood stem cell therapy mounts, we believe it will become a game-changer for stroke recovery. Just as clot-busters transformed acute stroke treatment, regenerative cell therapies may one day be the standard of care for restoring independence to stroke survivors. Replacing dead brain cells, modulating inflammation, and boosting the brain’s natural repair mechanisms—these are the keys to revolutionizing rehabilitation.

At the Stem Cell Medical Center, we are committed to advancing stem cell research and making these treatments available to patients who need them now. Our participation in clinical trials and collaborations with top scientists keep us on the leading edge of regenerative medicine. If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke, we invite you to learn more about how cord blood stem cells could help. Contact us today to book a consultation and take the first step towards recovery.