Stem Cell Treatment for Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury
September 20, 2010, By admin
Damage and Disability caused by Stroke
At present, ischemic stroke is the third leading cause of death in industrialised countries. With an annual incidence of 250–400 in 100 000 inhabitants, around 1 million people suffer from a stroke each year in the United States and in the European Union(1). Approximately a third of cases are left with some form of permanent impairment, making stroke the single largest cause of severe disability in the developed world.
Stroke is caused by the interruption of blood flow in a brain-supplying artery; commonly an embolus causes an occlusion (blockage) in the blood vessel. Ischemic stroke (cerebral infarction) and the even more devastating intracerebral haemorrhage, cause a disturbance of neuronal circuitry and disruption of the blood-brain-barrier that can lead to functional disabilities. At this time, therapy is primarily based on the prevention of recurrent (secondary) strokes. Rehabilitation therapy is important for maximizing functional recovery in the early phase after stroke, but once recovery has plateaued there is no known treatment.
Stem cell treatment could be the major breakthrough in effecting repair of some of the damage caused by stroke.
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