Neural Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke Patients – A Future Possibility!
Reneuron, a clinical-stage stem cell company, along with a clinical research team from the University of Glasgow has conducted the first clinical trial on stroke patients using neural stem cells. The results obtained so far give an impression that this procedure is safe.
A stroke is nothing but an interruption in the flow of blood to a part in the brain, which could result due to a block in the blood vessels or when the blood vessels burst open.
Current treatment strategies focus on prevention of the disease or treatments that aid in arresting it while it is still attacking the patient.
The PISCES (Pilot Investigation of Stem Cells in Stroke) study is the first of its kind, a clinical trial that uses stem cells from ReN001 neural stem cell line (developed by Reneuron for clinical trial purpose) on stroke patients.
The stages in clinical trial begin with neural stem cell injections given to twelve stroke patients, aged between 60 and 85 years. They might be moderately or severely disabled due to stroke. Stem cells will be transplanted into their brains after six months or one year of stroke attack.
One patient will be treated at a time. After assessing the results, the treatment will begin in the second patient and so on. These patients will be continuously monitored for a period of two years to identify any side effects, to check the safety of the procedure and to get required experimental data.
The trial began on the first patient last November who was injected with 2 million cells initially. After three months, the researchers found no complications. The next patient is slated to receive his dose of 2 million cells in the month of May.
If none of them experience any side effects, the next group will be injected with 5 million cells.
This clinical trial was based on the fact that ReN001 neural stem cells when injected into animal models succeeded in reversing the functional abnormalities even after several weeks of stroke attack. New neurons and capillaries were formed in the place of damaged ones.
The results obtained so far in the two stroke patients create a new hope among stroke victims, of a possible treatment in the future.