02 Apr Breakthrough Stroke Treatment
Stem cells research has come a long way, and stem cell therapy is finding new roles in management of severe disorders. One of the main areas of stem cell research is curative treatment for neurological disorders. recently there have been significant strides made in the treatment of cerebrovascular accidents (stroke), which is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., with more than 140,000 Americans dying each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There are two main types of stroke: ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke accounts for over 80% of all types of strokes, and are best treated with thrombolysis and/or thrombectomy. Neurorestoration using stem cell-based therapy is a huge area of stroke research. There is a huge therapeutic potential of different types of stem cells such as neural stem cells (NSCs), mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived NSCs as treatments for ischemic stroke. But there are many unknowns – how they work, how they can best be administered, and how to optimize their effectiveness. results of these studies are intriguing but many of them have presented conflicting results, and of course, their beneficial/detrimental outcomes need to be studied further.
One of these promising treatments called AB126 involves using extracellular vesicles (EV), fluid-filled structures known as exosomes, which are generated from human neural stem cells.
This form of stem cell/regenerative therapy appears to be the most promising in overcoming the limitations of many cell therapies. This is because of the ability of exosomes to carry and deliver multiple doses, as well as the ability to store and administer treatment. Furthermore, given their small size and tubular shape, EV therapy can cross barriers that cells cannot. These exosomes provide a stealth-like characteristic, as in they are invisible even to the body’s own defenses, and when packaged with therapeutics, these treatments can actually change cell progression and improve functional recovery.
Researchers used MRI scans to measure brain atrophy rates in preclinical, age-matched stroke models who were given AB126, which showed an about 35 percent decrease in the size of injury and 50 percent reduction in brain tissue loss. This is an unprecedented outcome. There is better mobility, improved balance, and measurable behavioral benefits in treated animal models in just days after stroke.
Recently, human trials have started. AB126 exosomes at being produced at a scale to meet early clinical demand. Furthermore, there are preclinical studies being designed to test their efficacy in epilepsy, traumatic brain, and spinal cord injuries. There is a lot of work to be done before these treatments can be clinically validated and are found to be fully effective and safe, but the results thus far have been very promising in the realm of stroke treatment.