Stroke is a leading cause of adult health impairment, with 15% to 30% of stroke patients becoming permanently disabled and 20% requiring institutional care for at least 3 months after stroke onset. It is a pathological condition in which brain tissue cells die within minutes from a lack of oxygen and nutrients. Its consequences for someone’s overall health depend on the size of the lesion. However, there is always at least one ailment to the human brain and normal bodily functions that results from a stroke.
The only approved treatments for acute ischemic stroke involve restoring blood flow to the affected region by using thrombolytics or mechanical devices that physically remove clots. However, the use of thrombolytics is limited due to a therapeutic window of several days or even just a couple of hours (depending on the drug) after the onset of stroke symptoms. Because of this, only a small fraction of stroke patients receive the required therapy in full. Further therapy is associated with long-term rehabilitation and recovery of lost functions, in which more progress can be made, but is not guaranteed.
What you are probably searching for is something that will bring the body back to the way it worked prior to the stroke. However, conservative medicine has no considerable methods which could promote recovery other than physical, occupational, and speech therapy. In recent years, the hope for improvement after a stroke has been associated with regenerative medicine. In particular, with the use of cell-based products. Each stem cell stroke trial being carried out aims to further establish the safety and efficacy of these cells.
Stem cells for stroke treatment are delivered intravenously, after which they are circulating through the bloodstream until reaching damaged areas. They then stimulate nerve cell renewal and the restoration of the brain begins. This leads to the improvement of all the symptoms associated with the condition. From this article, you will learn:
- the details of the treatment;
- the expected results;
- expert opinions;
- and the patients’ testimonials.
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Want to learn more about the personal results you can expect from the treatment, the cost, duration, and other details of the procedure? Reach out for a free consultation with one of our medical experts.
Stem cell research for stroke
Until recently, brain tissue damage was considered permanent. But nowadays, the possibility of brain cell regrowth and improvements in neurological function has been scientifically proven.
The procedure of stem cell treatment for stroke is safe and proven to activate cells around the suffering brain tissue to catalyze rapid healing and improve brain function. Stem cell treatment improves the bending and straightening of the joints, increasing the agility of fingers. Muscle strength and control of limbs are improved, as well.
A large number of scientific reports indicate that adult stem cells have the ability to stimulate the generation of new neurons, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes, and to promote therapeutic benefits for stroke patients.
In-vivo studies have shown that introduced stem cells for stroke recovery, in particular, those derived from the umbilical cord, have properties that allow them to:
- migrate into ischemic regions of the brain;
- increase the expression of several chemokines in the ischemic brain area (these tiny protein molecules promote tissue recovery);
- stimulate neurogenesis (formation of new normally functioning neurons);
- stimulate the growth of new vessels in the ischemic tissue area;
- modulate the immune response to damaged tissue both peripherally and locally;
- weaken local tissue ischemia, which helps to improve clinical outcomes.
In addition, stem cells rejuvenate the entire body. This natural human repair system helps to make all organs healthier.
Swiss Medica reviews: patient’s experience in post-stroke condition
Patient from the UK – stroke treatment results after 4th stem cell therapy
Carl is a patient from Britain who was brought into the Swiss Medica clinic by his mother, following a stroke. After two rounds of stem cell therapy for stroke, he had improvements in his speech, eating, and muscle strength.
After the fourth round of treatment, now in the Belgrade branch of the Clinic:
- He is able to eat large pieces of food independently.
- His speech and facial expressions have improved greatly.
- He has gained a lot more strength and coordination in his muscles, allowing him to better move his arms, legs, and maintain balance in a sitting position for hours.
All these changes were able to reduce his dependence greatly.
Post-stroke treatment experience (in Italian)
More patient experiences are available on our YouTube channel.
Post-stroke recovery with stem cell therapy
Swiss Medica clinic has developed a set of treatment protocols to address the patient’s post-stroke personalized needs. It is not necessary to wait for weeks to get treatment. To start, we apply injections of products based on stem cells with a high percentage of cell viability (about 90%).
When using stem cell for stroke victims, the patient’s own stem cells are harvested from abdominal fat or bone marrow, then activated and put back into the body. Donated cells from different sources (the placenta, umbilical cord, etc.) can also be used. Large numbers of introduced active stem cells migrate to the brain and implement growth. In the process of cell-based therapy for stroke, tens of millions of cells are placed into the patient’s body. This amount exceeds the person’s daily losses of healthy cells by thousands of times. Naturally, such active cell replenishment rejuvenates and renews organs, displacing old and damaged cells.
We do not use embryos, hormones or chemical therapies during the procedure, so the treatment is virtually side-effect free. The whole procedure is quick and doesn’t even require general anesthesia.
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Contact us to learn about the expected results of the treatment, its cost and duration.
Indications and contraindications for cell therapy
Due to its benefits, using stem cells for stroke can be promising in the absence or insufficiency of the effect of the main therapy, and also in the presence of side effects from the medical drugs.
- previous bad experience with cell products;
- any type of cancer or a precancerous condition;
- any life-threatening or terminal health conditions;
- infectious disease in the acute stage;
- stroke or transient ischemic attack in the last 3 months;
- deviations of some indicators in blood tests;
- pregnancy and lactation;
- mental disorders and addictions;
- contraindications to anaesthesia and/or high risk of bleeding and/or pathological processes in the area of the proposed biopsy (does not exclude the possibility of using donor cell products);
and some others.
Safety issues & side effects
The procedure of stem cell therapy is very quick and simple. It does not require general anesthesia. In most cases, such as in a small Stanford stem cell stroke trial, there are not any side effects. Sometimes there may be a short-term increase in temperature and as an individual reaction of the body, but not more than 2% of cases. And it passes independently and does not entail negative consequences for the patient’s health.
In general, stem cell therapy does not cause any allergic and immune reactions, (due to the immune privilege status of multipotent mesenchymal stem cells) as a stem cell stroke clinical trial was able to establish.
Advantages of stem cell therapy at Swiss Medica clinics:
- Low probability of minor adverse reactions (such as temperature rise during and/or after administration).
- Avoidance of any allergic and immune reactions (due to the immunologically privileged status of stem cells).
- General anesthesia is not required.
- We apply only adult stem cells sourced from the patient (autologous) or donated.
- The procedure is very quick and simple.
- Only a small quantity of extracted cells is required for the therapy (which are then cultivated to the necessary amount).
- The period of time between receiving lipoaspirate and the injection of the activated stem cells is only a few hours.
Q&A video about stem cells for post-stroke condition
Watch the Q&A video about the therapeutic application of cell-based products for patients with post-stroke, including brain stem stroke survivors. Dr. Alexandra, a specialist in regenerative medicine, and Swiss Medica doctor, answers the most frequently asked questions regarding the topic. You will learn:
- How do stem cells work in our bodies?
- What improvements can a post-stroke patient get with cell therapy?
- What factors determine the success of stem cell therapy for stroke recovery?
- Does it work for every patient?
What the treatment includes
After collecting your medical reports, we make a personal treatment program. Such a program usually includes not only the administration of cell products but also additional therapies, such as:
- Xenon gas rehabilitation therapy (inhalation procedure);
- Mesodiencephalic modulation (MDM);
- Electrical myostimulation;
- SIS (super inductive system);
- Oxygen therapy;
- Virtual reality;
- and others.
Additional therapies that we use enhance the action of injected cells and help to achieve more pronounced improvements in post-stroke conditions.
Stem cell therapy for stroke: cost
Stem cell research for stroke patients is still actively underway, despite the proven efficacy and safety of the procedure. Trials and research in this area require time, knowledge and funding, and the preparation of cell products for therapy also requires certain resources. Thus, it should be expected that it is relatively costly but the exact price depends on many factors. For instance:
- What’s the severity of the condition?
- Are there co-existing medical conditions?
- What duration of treatment will be needed for the patient?
To get a more accurate estimate of the cost according to your health condition and special medical needs, please reach out for a free consultation, where a medical expert can get an accurate idea of what your case will involve.
Get a free online consultation to learn about the expected results of the treatment, its cost and duration, and other details about the treatment you’d like to find out.
List of References
Symptomatic and palliative care for stroke survivors. Claire J. Creutzfeldt, MD, corresponding author Robert G. Holloway, MD, MPH, and Melanie Walker, MD. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Jul; 27(7): 853–860.
Stem cell transplantation therapy for multifaceted therapeutic benefits after stroke. Wei L., Wei Z.Z., Jiang M.Q., Mohamad O., Yu S.P. Prog Neurobiol. 2017 Oct;157:49-78.
Intravenous delivery of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells improves brain repair in hyperglycemic stroke rats. Gómez-de Frutos M.C., Laso-García F., Diekhorst L., Otero-Ortega L., Fuentes B., Jolkkonen J., Detante O., Moisan A., Martínez-Arroyo A., Díez-Tejedor E., Gutiérrez-Fernández M.; RESSTORE consortium. Stem Cell Research&Therapy. 2019 Jul 17;10(1):212.
Human umbilical cord blood cell grafts for brain ischemia. Park D.H., Borlongan C.V., Willing A.E., Eve D.J., Cruz L.E., Sanberg C.D., Chung Y.G., Sanberg P.R. Cell Transplant. 2009;18(9):985-98.
The Use of Stem Cells in Neural Regeneration: A Review of Current Opinion. Wang, Y., Pan, J., Wang, D., & Liu, J. (2018). Current stem cell research & therapy, 13(7), 608–617.
Clinical outcome and safety of stem cell therapy for ischemic stroke: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Permana, A. T., Bajamal, A. H., Parenrengi, M. A., Suroto, N. S., Lestari, P., & Fauzi, A. A. (2022). Surgical neurology international, 13, 206.