Existing research suggests that stem cells tend to latch onto healthy brain tissue all the while leaving a void where the stroke damage occurred. Basically, this newly discovered technique allows the stem cells to fill the void where it could not before.
“Using individual particles of a biodegradable polymer called PLGA that have been loaded with neural stem cells, the team of scientists have filled stroke cavities with stem cells on a ready-made support structure.” This process ensures that the support structure latches on to the surrounding health tissue in order to repair stroke damaged area.
As a result, within only days the cells can travel from the scaffold to form new brain tissue that very quickly adapts with the existing brain tissue. Over only a short time, the particles of the scaffolding biodegrade leaving space for more tissue, fibers and blood vessels to fill the gaps and repair the damaged area.
This research demonstrates yet again the miracles stem cells can produce. From improving the quality of life for stroke victims, to enormous savings in disability related costs, to a release of strain on the health care system, to relieving family member responsibilities who are coping with stroke, to saving lives. The benefits of this research are endless and immeasurable.
- A stroke is a brain attack. It occurs when a blood clot interrupts blood flow to the brain, or when a blood vessel ruptures. Cells in and around the stroke site become damaged and begin to die. Part of the brain stops working as a result.
- Stroke is the No. 1 cause of adult disability in Canada and the third leading cause of death.
- In the United States, stroke kills over 150,000 people a year. That’s about 1 of every 16 deaths. It’s the No. 3 cause of death behind diseases of the heart and cancer.
- About 700,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 45 seconds.
- Fifty thousand Canadians suffer from a stroke every year - one person every 10 minutes - and the incidence is increasing with Canada's aging population.
- In the United States, about every 3 minutes, someone dies of stroke.
- Of every 5 people who die from stroke in the United States, about 2 are men and 3 are women.
- Stroke can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic status. Approximately 300,000 Canadians are living with the effects of stroke.
- For every 100,000 persons in the United States in 2004, about 50 people died of stroke. This is the age adjusted stroke death rate for the total population.
- In Canada, one in five people who survive a stroke are at risk of another stroke or a heart attack within two years. And, after age 55, the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years.
- Fewer than 50 per cent of stroke survivors return to work in Canada, leaving families with care giving responsibilities and the additional burden of lost income.
- In adults, stroke is associated with risk factors such as smoking and high blood pressure.
- Americans paid about $63 billion in 2007 for stroke-related medical costs and disability.
Stem Cells Replace Stroke-damaged Tissue In Rats
Stroke Recovery Canada
American Heart Association
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