Can Hormone Therapy be a Novel Treatment Technique for Stroke
Hormones are naturally present chemical substances in the body. They help different organs in our body to function properly. In a treatment technique called Hormone Therapy, doctors inject artificial chemical substances which stimulate the release of these hormones from inactive regions of our body. A new treatment developed by the researchers at the UC Irvine Medical Center has successfully passed its first trial test recently. The technique is based on hormone therapy to restore the damaged cells of the brain after stroke. This article tries to gain further insight on this topic.
Knowledge Gained from Research:
- Neurologists at the UC Irvine Medical Center gave their new developed drug to the patients who suffered Ischemic stroke.
- The treatment course was for nine days and commenced two days after they patients suffered the stroke.
- The treatment involved giving injections of Beta-hCG and Erythropoietin hormones.
- The former hormone initiates the growth of stem cells in the brain.
- The latter hormone converts these stem cells to brain cells (neurons), which replace the damaged ones.
- 15 patients underwent this treatment and no safety concerns were followed during the test.
- There were minimal to no disability reports from majority of the patients, three months after the test.
- The study was funded by the National Center for Research Resources and Stem Cell Therapeutics – a Canadian biotechnology company.
- Details of the findings were published in Stroke, a journal of the American Heart Association.
Significance of the Research Finding: Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Nearly 143,579 people die each year from stroke in this country and it is also the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. Similar to heart attack, Stroke can be informally called as “brain attack”, and happens when sufficient amount of blood do not reach the brain. There are two types of Strokes, Ischemic stroke (most common type) and Hemorrhagic stroke. Both types of stroke can either cause damage or kill the brain cells(technically called, Neurons). In Ischemic stroke, blood is blocked from getting to the brain and in Hemorrhagic stroke, the vessels carrying blood to the brain burst which causes the organ brain to bleed. The effects of a stroke is assessed based on the type of stroke, the area of the brain affected and extent to which the organ suffered injury.