Stroke patients able to walk again after stem cell transplant
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