Stem cell therapy in stroke
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- Locatelli, F., Bersano, A., Ballabio, E. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2009) 66: 757. doi:10.1007/s00018-008-8346-1
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Recent work has focused on cell transplantation as a therapeutic option following ischemic stroke, based on animal studies showing that cells transplanted to the brain not only survive, but also lead to functional improvement. Neural degeneration after ischemia is not selective but involves different neuronal populations, as well as glial and endothelial cell types. In models of stroke, the principal mechanism by which any improvement has been observed, has been attributed to the release of trophic factors, possibly promoting endogenous repair mechanisms, reducing cell death and stimulating neurogenesis and angiogenesis. Initial human studies indicate that stem cell therapy may be technically feasible in stroke patients, however, issues still need to be addressed for use in human subjects.