Research into a possible new treatment for stroke patients has made the headlines recently, as a small study has shown some very promising signs. The new research has indicated that introducing stem cells into the brain of a patient could significantly improve their chance of recovery.
The NHS explains that a stroke occurs when the brain is starved of its blood supply. This can be caused by a blood clot or in some cases, a small blood vessel may burst resulting in significant damage to the brain.
A report from the Telegraph highlights that approximately 152,000 people a year suffer from strokes. This equates to around one person every three minutes and 30 seconds. The article goes on to discuss how this new treatment could potentially help the 58% of stroke survivors that are left with a disability as a result of this type of trauma.
According to advice from the NHS, the impact a stroke can have varies from person to person. Although there are a wide range of options for rehabilitation, the process can often be very lengthy and challenging.
BBC News details how once infused, the stem cells help new blood vessels to form in the areas of the brain that have become damaged as a result of the stroke. The article highlights that in this particular study, patients experienced promising results such as recovering the ability to walk, as well as some being able to regain their independence.
Despite the many reports surrounding this topic, an article from article from NHS Choices puts the study into perspective, as it explains how although this research is indeed positive, the study was very small and potentially not conclusive. The purpose of the study was to determine whether or not stem cell treatment was a safe option for stroke patient - it was not designed to determine effectiveness. This type of research calls for further tests on the use of stem cells, as the treatment is still in its very early stages.