The condition of stroke occurs when the brain stops receiving blood flow, followed by the loss of oxygen access. As a result of this, stroke might lead to serious neurological damage permanently. So, in this case, is it worth to have stem cell therapy for stroke patients?
Causes of Stroke
High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure is a major cause and primary risk factor for stroke conditions. Hypertension or High blood pressure is the leading cause of stroke in several regions around the world and can be caused by various reasons ranging from eating disorders to stress. One diagnosed, one should consult their doctors to find ways for lowering blood pressure to reduce the risk of stroke.
One of the risk factors that can be altered by preventing oneself from indulging in unhealthy habits, is smoking. Smokers are at a much higher risk of developing stroke as nicotine increases blood pressure and it is directly linked with higher stroke risk. In serious cases, the main artery in the neck might have a build-up and lead to blood thickening and clot, which increases the chances of stroke due to the hindrance of blood flow and oxygen availability.
Metabolic disorders like diabetes are one of the main risk factors as diabetes might cause nerve damage and slow healing wounds. Diabetic people are also more prone to be overweight and have a risk of blood vessel damage and atherosclerosis, which are sufficient risks to increase stroke incidence rate.
Atherosclerosis is the condition of cholesterol build-up in the arteries. If not timely treated, this can lead to plaque formation that inhibits blood flow to the brain and thus, hinting at stroke occurrence. One should remember that a healthy diet and regular exercise can help in preventing atherosclerosis.
Two major healthcare challenges in the domain of stroke are rescuing patients from this condition and restoring normal body functions. As discussed before, blood flow to the brain is cut off and oxygen availability is affected, leading to brain cell damage and loss of neurological, cognitive, and motor functions. Conventional therapeutic approaches like mechanical thrombectomy or vasodilators to remove and prevent the formation of plaques or blood clots are not a hundred percent successful method for preventing a stroke. Therefore, advanced cell therapy research started focusing on promoting the regeneration of brain cells after an ischemic stroke occurrence with reasonable success.
Experiments with stem cell therapy for stroke, conducted on rats, reported that intravenous stem cell injections, after extracting mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue or bone marrow, supported the recovery and regeneration of brain cells after stroke situation. Generally in these studies, stroke condition is induced in rats by blocking their cerebral artery and mesenchymal stem cells are infused prior to assessing health for tests after a certain duration of time. In various animal studies, stem cell therapy has shown increased levels of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and synaptophysin protein that regulates brain function as a neurotrophic growth factor.
In some other studies, instead of mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow and adipose tissue, dental pulp stem cells are also used besides using the conditioned media. These studies also showed neurological function betterment and enhanced recovery of cells, besides preventing further cellular damage and inflammation. These studies represent important insights into the crucial process of cell regeneration of brain cells post hypoxic, hemorrhagic, or ischemic stroke.
These stem cells secrete various growth factors that help in promoting the regeneration of new neurons after stroke occurrence. Besides animal studies, several patients with mild brain cell and neuronal damage after stroke have also seen benefits with regenerative medicine using stem cells as a therapeutic candidate. Stem cells help in the repairing and regeneration of the damaged tissues of the body and instead of working on the symptoms (like vasodilator drugs), these cells work towards reversing the damage condition, thus minimizing the risk of stroke occurrence for patients, in the future.
While many people suffer from stroke conditions, post-stroke complications can leave serious damage in the livelihood of the patients and this is where stem cell therapy for stroke can help in the potential reversal of the damaged conditions. Regular doctor check-ups can help in better diagnosis and identification of stroke risk factors to help patients from suffering a stroke. Along with regular check-ups, taking up a good healthy diet, performing healthy exercises, and maintaining good hygiene can help people stay away from the risks of stroke in the long run. Remember, taking care of your present health is the key to a longer and better quality of life in the future.
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