Have you heard of stem cell therapy for stroke?
Although it might sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, stem cell therapy actually looks very promising for stroke patients.
In recent studies, patients who were in wheelchairs were able to walk again thanks to stem cell therapy.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What are stem cells and how can they help stroke patients?
This article will answer all your questions.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are very special cells.
In the early stages of growth, stem cells can develop into different types of cells. They’re kind of like shapeshifters that can grow into something different than what they started as!
There are 4 different types of stem cells, but the ones we’re interested in are adult stem cells, which can be harvested from bone marrow.
Because stem cells are shapeshifters, they can be harvested from your bones and transplanted into the brain where they can grow into brain cells…
Well, not exactly. But before we dig into the miracle, you need to understand how stem cell therapy works.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
During stem cell therapy, brain surgery is performed to transplant stem cells (harvested from the patients’ bone marrow) into the tissue surrounding the damaged areas of the brain.
Interestingly, these stem cells don’t turn into brain cells. To help explain this, here’s what Dr. Gary Steinberg, the lead researcher on the project (and the man who performed 12 out of the 18 surgeries in the study), says about this:
“…These [stem] cells don’t actually integrate into the brain long term and become neurons to reconstitute circuits.
What they do is to pump out very powerful growth factors, molecules and proteins that enhance native mechanisms of recovery, such as new synapses of neurons that are there, new blood vessels, and they have a very profound effect on modulating the immune system.
And in that way, what we believe they do is to turn the adult brain into a neonatal or infant brain, which has a lot of ability to recover after injury.”
So, stem cell therapy doesn’t necessarily plant new brain cells into your brain. Rather, it just turns your brain into a young, cell-regenerating machine!
What Do the Studies Say?
Dr. Steinberg’s clinical study was small. It only included 18 patients. But the results were phenomenal.
Overall, there was substantial motor improvement; and one patient, Sonia Coontz, described her limbs as “waking up” after being asleep for years after her stroke.
To put some numbers on the results, there was an 11.4-point improvement in motor-function of the Fugl-Meyer test, which is a scale used to measure patients’ movement deficits – and 11.4 points is a lot! To quote Steinberg again,
“This wasn’t just, ‘They couldn’t move their thumb, and now they can.’ Patients who were in wheelchairs are walking now.”
These are impressive results, and we are excited to see the future of stem cell therapy for stroke patients.
If you’re interested in stem cell therapy, see if there are any clinical trials in your area.
Where We Disagree with the Doc
Now that you understand what stem cell therapy is all about, we hope you’ll entertain this oh-so-important tangent.
While we were blown away by these findings, one thing really disturbed us in the research.
In this article, the doctor said that “at six months out from a stroke, you don’t expect to see any further recovery.” (Cue the screeching tire noise.)
He said what now?!
Recovery is ALWAYS possible! Always. Research has shown that the brain is constantly changing throughout your entire life. Neuroplasticity never stop.
This means that as long as you put in the hard work, you can continue to recover from stroke no matter how long it’s been – even if it’s been decades! We’ve seen it with our very own eyes.
One of our customers improved his hand function 24 years post-stroke. Another customer recovered from paralysis 7 years after her stroke.
Anything is possible. Seriously. We’re not trying to spread false hope here. We’re trying to share the amazing stroke recovery stories that we’ve witnessed first-hand.
So if you can’t afford stem cell therapy, or if there are no clinical trials open right now, don’t lose hope!
As long as you follow the formula for stroke recovery, you can pick your recovery back up where you left off – even if it’s been more than 6 months since your stroke.
Okay, tangent over, and we hope you found it useful because you need to know these things.
Now let’s wrap up this article.
Stem cell therapy looks like a promising procedure that can really help stroke patients recover after stroke.
It works by transplanting adult stem cells harvested from your bone marrow into the brain tissue surrounding the damaged areas.
The stems cells then transform your brain into a cell regenerating machine!
No matter how long it’s been since your stroke, there’s hope that stem cell therapy can help.
And even if you can’t afford stem cell therapy, there’s still hope! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.