Patients of stroke now have a ray of hope with Indian researchers successfully using stem cells to treat brain damage resulting from stroke in mice.

This is an much awaited breakthrough, especially for those stroke patients who are suffering from disability, permanent paralysis and dependence on others.

According to World Health Organization, brain strokes are the second largest killer in the world and third largest in India after heart attack and cancer. There are five centers across India including AIIMS where stem cell researches for stroke are conducted.

As briefed by S Prabhakar, head of the department of neurology, PGI Chandigarh, human stem cells developed by the researchers were injected in the affected region of their brain. They observed that the new brain cells triggered the development of new brain cells without any serious side effects. To conduct the study brain stroke was induced in their brain deliberately.

According to him, it was for the first time that interaction between the host cells and injected cells worked out properly.

When the blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is obstructed due to clots or bursts. This causes the brain to starve and results in a stroke. The brain cells start dying when they are deprived of oxygen for a short period of time. Once the brain cells of a part of the brain dies, part of the body controlled by the brain becomes dysfunctional and this leads to paralysis of that part.

After successful trials on mice, human trials for the study would begin this month. According to Prabhakar, human trials for stem cell treatment of stroke will begin from January onwards.

With the incidence of strokes staggering at 130 per 100,000 people every year in India, as studied by WHO, the new breakthrough in stem cell treatment for stroke is light at the other end of tunnel for those who have lost hopes of recovery completely.

Source: The Hindu