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Promising Results For Experimental Stem Cell Stroke Treatment

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) — A new study shows an experimental treatment for stroke is showing promise.  The study in Lancet Neurology looked at the treatment, called Multistem, which involves donor stem cells grown in the lab and delivered through an IV to stroke patients.

“The stem cells are believed to change the immune response of the body to the stroke. And it will turn down the immune response so there is a better healing environment,” said Dr. Ken Uchino, a stroke neurologist at The Cleveland Clinic.

The study looked at 129 patients. Half of them got the stem cells, half received a placebo.

The study found patients who got the cells within 36 hours of stroke onset had less disability and more mobility after stroke.

Study participant Kristopher Little was part of the study and received the stem cells after he had a stroke but arrived at the hospital too late for current treatments to work. That’s when doctors told him about the experimental option.

“We don’t know fully whether this is in relation to the cells, but I can say he has done well,” said Dr. Uchino.

Researchers hope with more study; this approach could become an option for stroke patients who miss that critical treatment window.

Kris had to learn to walk again.

“I can use my hand and everything and I can walk without a walker or cane or anything. I think I’ve done really good,” said Kris.

The 49-year old is grateful to be back to normal after his stroke.

Studies show less than 5-percent of stroke patients receive the current clot-busting drugs that are available.

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