A stroke is characterized by diminished blood flow and oxygen delivery to an area of the brain that results in cell death. There are two types of stroke. An ischemic stroke is the result of a lack of blood flow normally caused by a blockage of an artery. A hemorrhagic stroke is a lack of blood flow that is caused by bleeding from an artery. Both types of stroke result in similar symptoms which may include inability to move or feel on one side of the body, cognitive deficits, problems speaking, vision problems, and dizziness.


The main risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and atrial fibrillation.

Treatments for stroke are focused on supportive care and prevention. This includes blood thinning medications and physical therapy to help try and regain lost function.

Many researchers are looking toward stem cell therapy to try and repair and regenerate the damaged brain tissue following stroke. Currently, the goal of stem cell treatment for Stroke is to improve quality of life by increasing the electrical signal within the brain which can lead to improvements in muscle function, strength and tone in the periphery.

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The most current research regarding stem cells and Stroke is given below:

Allogeneic Umbilical Cord Blood Infusion for Adults with Ischemic Stroke: Clinical Outcomes from a Phase I Safety Study
Daniel T. Laskowitz, Ellen R. Bennett, Rebecca J. Durham, John J. Volpi, Jonathan R. Wiese, Michael Frankel, Elizabeth Shpall, Jeffry M. Wilson, Jesse Troy, and Joanne Kurtzberg

Abstract: Stroke is a major cause of death and long‐term disability, affecting one in six people worldwide. The only currently available approved pharmacological treatment for ischemic stroke is tissue plasminogen activator; however, relatively few patients are eligible for this therapy. We hypothesized that intravenous (IV) infusion of banked unrelated allogeneic umbilical cord blood (UCB) would improve functional outcomes in patients with ischemic stroke. To investigate this, we conducted a phase I open‐label trial to assess the safety and feasibility of a single IV infusion of non‐human leukocyte antigen (HLA) matched, ABO matched, unrelated allogeneic UCB into adult stroke patients. Ten participants with acute middle cerebral artery ischemic stroke were enrolled. UCB units were matched for blood group antigens and race but not HLA, and infused 3–9 days post‐stroke. The adverse event (AE) profile over a 12 month postinfusion period indicated that the treatment was well‐tolerated in these stroke patients, with no serious AEs directly related to the study product. Study participants were also assessed using neurological and functional evaluations, including the modified Rankin Score (mRS) and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). At 3 months post‐treatment, all participants had improved by at least one grade in mRS (mean 2.8 ± 0.9) and by at least 4 points in NIHSS (mean 5.9 ± 1.4), relative to baseline. Together, these data suggest that a single i.v. dose of allogeneic non‐HLA matched human UCB cells is safe in adults with ischemic stroke, and support the conduct of a randomized, placebo‐controlled phase 2 study.


Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cell Transplantation in Neuroregenerative Strategies
Luisa R. Galieva, Yana O. Mukhamedshina, Svetlana S. Arkhipova and Albert A. Rizvanov

Abstract: At present there is no effective treatment of pathologies associated with the death of neurons and glial cells which take place as a result of physical trauma or ischemic lesions of the nervous system. Thus, researchers have high hopes for a treatment based on the use of stem cells (SC), which are potentially able to replace dead cells and synthesize neurotrophic factors and other molecules that stimulate neuroregeneration. We are often faced with ethical issues when selecting a source of SC. In addition to precluding these, human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) presents a number of advantages when compared with other sources of SC. In this review, we consider the key characteristics of hUCB, the results of various studies focused on the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), ischemic (stroke) and traumatic injuries of the nervous system and the molecular mechanisms of hUCB-derived mononuclear and stem cells.