Science Times:Neuroregeneration: North America’s First Human Stem Cell Trial for Stroke

The road to regenerating components of the central system is notoriously long and torturous. For the longest time, the idea of postdevelopmental neuroplasticity and recovery was viewed as unattainable or fraught with inconsistent outcomes. Now, we are just a little closer to understanding how we can engage the central nervous system to repair injury.

Many scholars have targeted specific components of the regenerative pathway to modulate, whether it be growth factors, neuronal transplantation, or even the use of different types of neurostimulation.1-3 Ischemic stroke is a major cause of physical and functional disability worldwide. Approximately 795 000 patients suffer new or recurrent episodes of stroke each year in the United States.4 It also creates a substantial financial and social burden on the healthcare system, because stroke patients require a high level of short- and long-term care.

The current standard of care for acute ischemia includes tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular thrombectomy.5 Effective therapy for chronic ischemic stroke remains elusive and today involves intensive rehabilitation and stroke prevention. Now, however, the hypothesis of inducing central nervous system plasticity is being tested with great success, and stem transplantation is beginning to demonstrate impressive results.

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