(HealthDay News) – Stem cell therapy has a nonsignificant effect on improving functional recovery after subacute ischemic stroke, and may have a role in regenerative therapy following stroke, according to two studies presented at the American Heart Association’s International Stroke Conference, held from February 1–3 in New Orleans.
Kameshwar Prasad, M.B.B.S., M.D., from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, and colleagues evaluated the safety and efficacy of administering bone marrow mononuclear cells intravenously to 120 patients aged 18 to 75 years with subacute ischemic stroke, within seven to 30 days of onset of stroke. The main end point was the ability to perform activities of daily living, as assessed by the Barthel index (BI). The investigators found that 73 percent of patients allocated to the stem cell arm and 61 percent in the control group achieved assisted independence with a BI of ≥60 (P = 0.17). There was no evidence of tumor formation at one year.
Rohit Bhatia, M.D., also from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and colleagues assessed the safety, feasibility, and efficacy of autologous mononuclear and mesenchymal stem cell therapy in 40 stroke patients, recruited three months to one year following an index event. Patients treated with stem cell therapy had normal clinical, laboratory, and radiologic tests. No mortality or therapy-related adverse reactions were seen. Significant improvement was seen in the modified BI with stem cell therapy.
“Autologous intravenous stem cell (mononuclear and mesenchymal) therapy is safe and feasible and likely facilitates behavioral recovery after stroke,” Bhatia and colleagues write.