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
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Specialist - HR Team

    £26000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £38,000

    £16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Parts Sales Advisor - OTE 18k-23k

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders