Brain damage - stem cell therapy

  • 1 Replies

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Offline Birgit01

  • First timers
  • *
  • 3
    • View Profile
Brain damage - stem cell therapy
« on: 22/02/2003 11:12:48 »
Hi everybody,

perhaps you can help me find the right information sources:

I'm searching for information about stem cell therapy in cases of brain damage by means of
   Who's doing clinical research & development for these cases (institutes, hospitals, universities)
   Are there any "projects" especially with adult stem cells currently conducted
   Is a kind of stem cell therapy established or is it just in an experimental status

The reason why I am searching is primarily a family case: my father is currently recovering from a pulmonary embolism and has a serious brain damage. He's not in coma, because he opens his eyes and he's reacting on touches, light and cold/heat, but he can't move. Currently, he is stable concerning his blood circuit and organ functionality.

I would appreciate, if you could help me with some addresses, links or contact persons? Thanks in advance.

Best regards,


Offline NakedScientist

  • Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 355
    • View Profile
Re: Brain damage - stem cell therapy
« Reply #1 on: 03/03/2003 11:20:00 »
Dear Birgit

sorry to hear about your father. It is always difficult to comment on cases where neither the patient, the clinical history nor the results of tests are available for scrutiny, but I'll assume that his neurological problems stem from the pulmonary embolus (PE) that he has suffered.

A pulmonary embolus is an obstruction (often caused by a blood clot) that travels from a remote part of the body - often a deep vein in the leg or pelvis - passes through the heart, and lodges in the one of the arteries supplying the lungs where it obstructs the flow of blood. This in itself can cause a reduction in blood flow around the body sufficient to starve the nervous system of oxygen, causing brain damage or a 'stroke'.

Alternatively if your father has an abnormal connection in his heart between the right and left sides, occasionally an embolus can bypass the lungs altogether and enter the arterial supply to the body, where it can be carried to the brain and cause a stroke directly.

In either case the end result is the same. The lack of oxygen reaching parts of the brain is insufficient to supply the needs of the tissue and nerve cells start to die. The amount of damage is proportional to the time that the tissue is deprived of oxygenated blood.

You don't mention how long your father has been in his present condition, so it is very hard to predict whether he will show further improvement at this stage. However, regarding the use of stem cells in stroke therapy, there is evidence that animal models of stroke can show improvements in function when treated using experimental stem cell techniques, but, to our knowledge, there are no established human trials of this technology (in the context of stroke) at present.

Below are some links to useful stem-cell resources. The BBC link (from December '02) relates to a claim by US scientists that they may be commencing a trial of stem cell therapy within a year.