This article is going to be something a little bit different is pretty exciting and amazing. For the longest time, it was thought that brain damage such as that caused by a stroke is permanent and reverse visible. But a recent medical breakthrough is bringing this notion into question.

Researchers at Stanford University have been blown away by the results of a clinical trial they conducted. Among other amazing stories, a wheelchair-bound stroke victim has regained the ability to walk after stem cells were injected directly into the brain. It’s all pretty crazy. As defined by the US National Institution of Health, a stroke is a medical condition in which poor blood flow to the brain results in cell death. Stanford University tested a new method for recovering damaged brain tissue. The surgical procedure involved 18 stroke patients that were at the Plateau stage of recovery. At this stage, there’s typically no more potential for recovery in motor coordination. That’s the best it’s going to get. They’re usually taken out a thorough because it’s believed that their brains have been damaged in key areas beyond repair.

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During the trial, surgeons drilled a hole into the skull of the patients and injected human adult stem cells around the damaged areas of the brain. Amazingly, these stem cells then triggered the damaged areas of the brain to repair themselves. Within days, patients could move limbs again and begin to speak properly when they couldn’t. Previously, they could even be sent home on the same day as the surgery. Here’s a news report from CBS on the topic. Stroke victims making incredible progress literally overnight, thanks to a new kind of treatment at Stanford.

Wheelchair
Wheelchair

Five years ago, Sonya Coon suffered a stroke that severely damaged her brain. It partially paralyzed Sonya on her right side and she could barely speak. Her speech was not very understandable. She couldn’t order food or communicate well. Two years later, Sonya could still hardly live her arms. But just one day, after experimental treatment. Sonya could lift her arm over her head. Can you move it to the side and move it to the side and also to the front. And her words began to flow. I woke up and immediately I could speak better. Dr Gary Steinberg, chair of neurosurgery at Stanford, led the small clinical trial. 18 chronic stroke patients were involved. 18 chronic stroke patients were involved. In the trial, Steinberg drilled a tiny hole into the patient’s skull and, using a very fine needle, injected modified human adult stem cells around the stroke. We put them around the stroke, and that’s where they do their thing to recover the function. These cells don’t survive for long after the surgery. But they appear to trigger a patient’s damaged brain to begin to heal itself.

The cells somehow jump-start the system again. Here’s another stroke patient just before surgery. Here she is just staying after receiving this stem cell treatment. As for Sonia, her life is back on track. She’s now married and pregnant. It’s her first child. Then there’s a boy. According to Gary Steinberg, chairperson of neurosurgery at Stanford, one of the patients was a 71-year-old wheelchair-bound individual who could walk again after the stem cell surgery. This event shocked everyone on the research team. Their recovery was not just a minimal recovery, like someone who couldn’t move a thumb and now being able to wiggle it was much more meaningful. 1 71-year-old wheelchair-bound patient was walking again. He goes on, this could revolutionize our concept of what happens not only in stroke but traumatic brain injury and every neurodegenerative disorder. We thought the brain circuits were dead, and we’ve learned that they’re not. So Gary seems to hint that stem cells could be used to treat other neurogenerative diseases, like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

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What exactly are stem cells?

Stem cells are a very remarkable type of cell. They have the ability to change themselves into any other type of cell during early life and growth in tissues. They serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells. As long as the person is alive, they can even do this after long periods of inactivity. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or, in this case, a brain cell.

In some organs, such as the gut and bone marrow, stem cells regularly divide to repair and replace worn out damaged tissues. In other organs, however, such as the pancreas and heart, stem cells only divide under special conditions. The cells used in the Stanford surgery were SB 623 stem cells. These cells are actually a product of Standby Incorporated SB 623, bone marrow-derived stem cells from adult donors. The new idea here is that these special stem cells have been genetically engineered to repair damaged cells when introduced.

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According to the World Health Organization, 15,000,000 people suffer strokes worldwide. Each year of this 5,000,000 die and another 5,000,000 are permanently disabled. Once knowing this, it becomes easy to see the huge potential of this medical breakthrough. Right now, the Stanford team is now moving into phase two of the trial. With 153 patients on the list. They’re going to see if these results can be replicated. I’m definitely wishing Gary and his team all the best.

I personally think that this is really awesome to see. These are the very early days of stem cell genetic research and the technology can only get better from here. Clearly, a huge potential lies within stem cell genetic engineering. It definitely can be used for good. And it’s nice to see this technology being used in that way as a side point. A lot of this just shows how little we know about the human brain. And in a way, we tend to take it for granted every day.

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