Six patients have had human embryonic stem cells inserted near a damaged part of their brain and have reported improvements in their stroke associated limb weakness.
One man regained the power of speech after stem cells were injected into him.
This clinical trial is the world’s first neural stem cell application for stroke victims but doctors have been cautious not to exaggerate the results at this early stage.
The research is being carried out at the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, and Glasgow University neurologist Professor Keith Muir is leading it.
He said to the BBC: “So far we’ve seen no evidence of any harmful effects. We’re dealing with a group of people a long time after a stroke with significant disability and we don’t really expect these patients to show any change over time.
“So it’s interesting to see that in all the patients so far they have improved slightly over the course of their involvement in the study.”
It was six months to five years before treatment that the six patients suffered strokes, and all had limb weakness as a result of this.
The patients were tested using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale which placed the first five patients with a median score of eight before their stem cell application and four points three months afterwards.
The sixth patient was treated in March 2012 and six more patients will be treated during this Phase 1 trial.
Professor Muir commented: “We know that if you’re involved in a trial you are going to see patients change in behaviour, particularly if you’re doing something invasive, so we need to be very cautious indeed in interpreting these results.
“However, that said, it is not something we’d anticipated seeing in this group of patients.”
For information on stem cell application trials being carried out in Mexico for conditions such as COPD and heart failure please contact Angeles Health, Mexico’s largest private medical network, using the form on the right. We use ADULT STEM CELLS ONLY.