Stroke victims show signs of recovery following pioneering stem cell therapy

 

Five stroke victims have shown small signs of recovery following pioneering stem cell therapy.

Prof Keith Muir, of Glasgow University, said the results were "not what we would have expected" from the group of patients who had previously shown no indications of their conditions improving.

The trial involved injecting stem cells directly into the damaged parts of the patients' brains, with the hope that they would turn into healthy tissue or "kick-start" the body's own repair processes.

Frank Marsh, 80, one of the nine patients taking part in the trial at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital, told the BBC he had seen improvements in the use of his left hand.

"I can grip certain things that I never gripped before, like the hand rail at the baths, with my left hand as well as my right," he said."It still feels fairly weak and it's still a wee bit difficult to co-ordinate but it's much better than it was."He added: "I'd like to get back to playing my piano."

His wife Claire said: "He had reached a plateau and wasn't really improving (after his stroke). But following the operation he is able to do things he couldn't do before, such as make coffee, dressing, and holding on to things."

The study involved patients who suffered strokes some time ago and had shown no signs of making any further spontaneous improvement.

Prof Muir said the results were "at the present time not what we would have expected in this group but far from being able to say whether it's something specifically related to the cells".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We know that some of the cells will survive and potentially turn into relevant tissue. We also suspect that a large part of what we do is kick-starting repair processes that are already present in the body.

"So there's probably a mixture of things going on. Quite what it is that's happening in the patients, we won't know for some time to come."

The stem cells were created 10 years ago from one sample of nerve tissue taken from a foetus.

Dr Clare Walton, a neuro scientist at the Stroke Association, said: "When a stroke strikes, the brain is starved of oxygen and, as a result, brain cells in the affected area die.

"The use of stem cells is a promising technique which could help to reverse some of the disabling effects of stroke.

"We are very excited about this trial; however, we are currently at the beginning of a very long road and significant further development is needed before stem cell therapy can be regarded as a possible treatment."

PA

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Social Researcher

    £14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Controller

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Head Porter / Concierge

    £16000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks