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Thread: Korean doctors use bone marrow stem cells to regrow dead brain tissue

  1. #1

    Korean doctors use bone marrow stem cells to regrow dead brain tissue
    Stem Cell Implant Effective in Treating Cerebral Infarction

    By Kim Rahn
    Staff Reporter

    A local medical research team has made progress in treating cerebral infarction by transplanting healthy marrow stem cells into dead brain cells.

    The team said Thursday that a brain blood vessel bypass surgery could make blood flow again in the brains of cerebral infarction patients, but that brain cells dead from the blockage were irrecoverable, usually leaving serious after effects such as general paralysis and speech disorders.

    Professors Rha Hyoung-kyun and Lee Jong-wook of the medical college of the Catholic University of Korea said that they have performed brain blood vessel bypass surgeries on five cerebral infarction patients and transplanted their stem cells since February, and seen great improvement in the paralysis symptoms and speech disorders of three of them.

    ``It's the first time in the world that a treatment has been developed for the disease by putting stem cells into the part of the brain affected by cerebral infarction. Some researchers have tried to inject marrow stem cells into veins, but the outcome has not been that effective,'' Rha said.

    The research team abstracted mononuclear cells containing stem cells after extracting 200 cubic centimeters (cc) of marrow from the cerebral infarction patients' pelvises.

    Then they performed bypass surgeries on the patients to make blood flow in the part of the brain with the cerebral infarction, and injected 1 cc of stem cells each at some 10 damaged regions of the brain.

    Two weeks after the surgery, the researchers injected an additional 30 cc of stem cells at the spots through the blood vessels made by the bypass surgery, and have observed the progress for six to eight months.

    Three of the five patients have had great improvement in their speech disorder and paralysis, and also, through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations it was found the parts of the brain damaged from cerebral infarction had decreased.

    Two others are showing some improvement in their symptoms, but more observation is needed, according to the researchers.

    Those patients, who had fallen ill within five months prior to the surgery, had severe speech disorder symptoms and paralysis as brain tissues were dead.

    ``One of the patients could not communicate at all before the surgery, but he can now communicate with his wife,'' Rha said.

    ``It may be too early to conclude the transplantation of stem cells is the only reason for an improvement in the patients' condition, because we haven't confirmed the rebirth of brain cells in a molecular biological way,'' Rha said.

  2. #2
    Really quite phenomenal. Reading stuff like this cheers me up a bit, and is an interesting read.

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