The groundbreaking research could help people who suffered a stroke by significantly reducing brain damage.
When a person has a stroke, the blood flow to a certain area of their brain is cut off, and, since the cells don’t have enough oxygen, they begin to die off. Depending on the affected area, different abilities can be damaged or even lost for good: usually, it’s your memories, speech, or muscle control that are in most danger. If the stroke is not caught on time, it can end in permanent brain damage or even death.
But, according to a recent study, they might be a way to reverse the damage. A team of researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center and ArunA Biomedical developed a treatment that has the potential to speed up brain’s healing abilities and, by doing so, significantly reduce the deterioration stroke causes. Their theory has already been tested on animal subjects, and after promising results, they hope to move on to human trials- and it may happen as soon as next year.
The team found that cells, previously taken from the amniotic sac, can be injected intravenously after a stroke; and if they were injected early enough, they minimized the stroke damage. Even if the treatment was given for up to 3 days after the stroke occurred, stem cells improved the patient’s long-term chances of gaining back the corrupted functions.
Encouraged by the good results of the study, the company funding this research, ArunaA Biomedical, plans to fund other preclinical studies in epilepsy, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries using the same stem cell technologies.
Considering that stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, and that currently available treatment is time-sensitive and limited in its effects, this revolutionary approach could save countless lives. Instead of relying on clot-busting drugs to relieve the blockage, we could count on brain’s ability to heal itself: granted, with a little help from brilliant scientists.
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