Transplantation Cell Therapy can Reverse Loss of Brain Function in Stroke Patients

by Kathy Jones on Apr 8 2014 10:54 PM

 Transplantation Cell Therapy can Reverse Loss of Brain Function in Stroke Patients
Results of a new study presented at the 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) offer new hope to stroke patients suffering from lost brain function, a condition thought to be irreversible until now.
In the first North American trial of its kind, researchers conducted intraparenchymal transplantation of bone marrow-derived cell therapy in chronic stroke patients. Titled A Novel Phase 1/2A Study of Intraparenchymal Transplantation of Human Modified Bone Marrow Derived Cells in Patients with Stable Ischemic Stroke, the study tested the feasibility of administering escalated doses of stromal cells. Numerous preclinical animal stroke studies showing the benefit of stem cell transplantation led to the initiation of this clinical trial.

The study was led by Gary K. Steinberg, MD, PhD, FAANS: "Although this was primarily a safety study, we found a significant recovery of neurologic function in patients overall at six months that is sustained at one year. Two of the 18 transplanted patients showed remarkable improvement."

Transplanted patients continued to recover substantial neurologic function two years or more following their stroke, said Dr. Steinberg: "This suggests that the affected neural circuits following stroke are not dead, but potentially still viable and can be reactivated, which is contrary to the currently accepted dogma."

The clinical findings have led to new studies using brain stimulation of circuits to restore neurologic function in animal stroke models.

Study co-authors are Douglas Kondziolka, MD, FAANS; Neil Schwartz, MD, PhD; Lawrence Wechsler, MD; Dade Lunsford, MD, FAANS; Maria Coburn, BA; Julia Billigen, RN; Hadar Keren-Gill, BS; Michael McGrogan, PhD; Casey Case, PhD; Kelta Mori, MBA; and Ernest Yankee, PhD.

Disclosure: The author reported the following disclosures prior to the 82nd AANS Annual Scientific Meeting: NIH NINDS; California Institute for Regenerative Medicine; Medtronic.

Media Representatives: The 2014 AANS Annual Meeting Press Kit includes releases on highlighted scientific research, AANS officer and award winners, National Neurosurgery Awareness Week, and other relevant information about this year''s program. Those releases also will be posted under the Media area on the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting website ( Meeting/2014/Main/Media.aspx). If you would have interest in a topic related to neurosurgery or would like to interview a neurosurgeon - either onsite or via telephone - during this year''s event, please contact John Iwanski, AANS Director of Integrated Marketing and Website Communications, via the onsite press room at 415.978.3603 or e-mail him at [email protected].

About the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting: Attended by neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents, medical students, neuroscience nurses, clinical specialists, physician assistants, allied health professionals and other medical professionals, the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting is the largest gathering of neurosurgeons in the nation, with an emphasis on the field''s latest research and technological advances. A record-breaking 1,321 scientific abstracts were presented for review at the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, and the scientific presentations given at this year''s event represent cutting-edge examples of the incredible developments taking place within the field of neurosurgery. Additional information about the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and the Meeting Program can be found at / Meeting/2014/Main/Home.aspx.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with nearly 8,600 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves. For more information, visit