Stroke pa­tients able to walk again af­ter stem cell trans­plant

Pakistan Observer - - KARACHI CITY - CITY RE­PORTER

THE re­sults of a small clin­i­cal trial of­fer hope for peo­ple left with mo­tor im­pair ment fol­low­ing a stroke, af­ter find­ing that an in­jec­tion of adult stem cells into the brain re­stored mo­tor func­tion for such in­di­vid­u­als, to the ex­tent that some pa­tients re­gained the abil­ity to walk. Lead study au­thor Dr. Gary Steinberg, pro­fes­sor and chair of neu­rol­ogy at Stan­ford Univer­sity School of Medicine in Palo Alto, CA, and col­leagues pub­lish their find­ings in the jour­nal Stroke.

While the trial only in­cluded a small num­ber of stroke par­tic­i­pants, the re­sults have been met with much pos­i­tiv­ity, with some health ex­perts claim­ing the find­ings could lead to “lifechang­ing treat­ments” for stroke pa­tients. In the United States each year, more than 795,000 peo­ple have a new or re­cur­rent stroke. Is­chemic stroke is the most com­mon form, ac­count­ing for around 87 per­cent of all strokes. It oc­curs when the flow of oxy­gen-rich blood to the brain be­comes blocked, pri­mar­ily due to blood clots.

Hem­or­rhagic stroke ac­counts for around 13 per­cent of all strokes, aris­ing from leak­ing or rup­tured blood ves­sels in the brain. Ex­actly how stroke af­fects a per­son is de­pen­dent on what side of the brain it oc­curs and the amount of dam­age it causes. Some in­di­vid­u­als may ex­pe­ri­ence tem­po­rary arm or leg weak­ness, for ex­am­ple, while oth­ers may lose the abil­ity to speak or walk. Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Stroke As­so­ci­a­tion, around 2 in ev­ery 3 stroke sur­vivors will have some form of dis­abil­ity, and stroke is the lead­ing cause of dis­abil­ity among Amer­i­can adults. There are treat­ments avail­able for stroke, such as tis­sue plas­mino­gen ac­ti­va­tor (tPA) - con­sid­ered the “gold stan­dard” treat­ment for is­chemic stroke. It works by dis­solv­ing the blood clot that is block­ing blood flow to the brain. How­ever, tPA needs to be ad­min­is­tered within hours of stroke oc­cur­rence, in or­der to max­i­mize the like­li­hood of re­cov­ery - a time pe­riod that Dr. Steinberg and col­leagues note is of­ten ex­ceeded by the time it takes for a pa­tient to ar­rive at the hospi­tal. If the treat­ment is not re­ceived in time, the chance of a full re­cov­ery from stroke is small. But in the new study, re­searchers found stem cell trans­plan­ta­tion im­proved pa­tients’ re­cov­ery when ad­min­is­tered up to 3 years af­ter stroke. For their study, the team en­rolled 18 in­di­vid­u­als - of an av­er­age age of 61 - who had ex­pe­ri­enced a first stroke 6 months to 3 years pre­vi­ously. All par­tic­i­pants had mo­tor func­tion dis­abil­ity as a re­sult of their stroke; some pa­tients were un­able to move their arm, while oth­ers were un­able to walk. Each pa­tient un­der­went stem cell trans­plan­ta­tion, which in­volved drilling a hole into the skull and in­ject­ing stroke-dam­aged ar­eas of the brain with SB623 cells. SB623 cells are mes­enchy­mal stem cells (MSCs) that have been taken from the bone mar­row of two donors and mod­i­fied to boost brain func­tion. KARACHI—Sindh Chief Min­is­ter Syed Qaim Ali Shah has fi­nally ap­proved Rs 25 bil­lion Greater Karachi Bulk Wa­ter Sup­ply Scheme K-IV and di­rected the lo­cal gov­ern­ment de­part­ment to sign agree­ment with FWO to start work on pack­age-I on war foot­ings.

He is­sued these or­der while pre­sid­ing over a meet­ing on K-IV project here at the CM House, said a state­ment on Thurs­day.

The meet­ing was at­tended by pro­vin­cial min­is­ters, Syed Mu­rad Ali Shah, Jam Khan Shoro, Chief Sec­re­tary

photo Sid­dique Me­mon, Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Alam­mud­din Bullo, ACS (Dev) Mo­ham­mad Waseem, Sec­re­tary Fi­nance So­hail Ra­jput, Sec­re­tary Lo­cal gov­ern­ment Baqaullah Unar and oth­ers.

Brief­ing the CM Sindh, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Jam Khan Shoro said that pack­age-I of K-IV project in­cludes in­take struc­ture, canal con­duit, Siphons, con­vert­ers and so on. It costs Rs 15.254 bil­lion.

“We have held meet­ings with FWO au­thor­i­ties and have to come to con­clu­sion that work on this pack­age can be started if the chief min­is­ter kindly ap­prove it,” he said.

He re­quested the CM Sindh to ap­prove 15 per­cent in­ter­est free ad­vanced mo­bil­i­sa­tion on in­sur­ance bond and SRB. He said 15 per­cent ad­vance would be Rs 2.2 bil­lion and the funds were avail­able with the project.

The CM Sindh ap­proved the pro­posal and di­rected the min­is­ter lo­cal gov­ern­ment to en­sure start of the work. It may be noted that in the Rs 25.551 bil­lion K-IV project, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would share 50 per­cent of the to­tal cost.

The CM Sindh said that the K-IV project was ac­tu­ally con­ceived in 2007 but the gov­ern­ment at the time could not start it. “Now, I have made com­mit­ment with the peo­ple of Karachi that I would pro­vide them wa­ter and I am adamant to ful­fill my com­mit­ment,” he said.

Se­nior Min­is­ter Syed Mu­rad Ali Shah said that he has also dis­cussed the project with FWO and they are also ready to com­plete the project within two years. The CM Sindh asked the pro­vin­cial min­is­ters, fi­nance and Lo­cal gov­ern­ment to make nec­es­sary ar­range­ments for sign­ing the agree­ment. “This would be a way­foraward and re­newal of our com­mit­ment and the com­mit­ment of the FWO with us,” he said.

Chief Min­is­ter Syed Qaim Ali Shah pre­sid­ing over a meet­ing on K-IV Se­nior Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Syed Mu­rad Ali Shah, Min­is­ter for Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Jam Khan Shoro, Chief Sec­re­tary Sindh Muham­mad Sid­dique Me­mon, Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary to Chief Min­is­ter Sindh Ala­mud­din Bullo, con­sul­tants of the projects and projects di­rec­tor at­tended the meet­ing.—PO

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