Stem Cells and Stroke

Each year, 700,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States. Until now, the only hope for recovery for paralysis brought on by the stroke was lengthy rehabilitation.

In today's Medical Moment, how a new stem cell therapy is helping stroke patients move again.

James Anderson is a tri-athlete and physical education teacher. He was visiting Florida from Maine when he suddenly wasn’t feeling well.

"I started to feel a little dizzy a little tingling in my right hand and I ended up having a stroke," says James Anderson.

James did not respond to clot busting medication or blockage treatments, so he became paralyzed on the left side of his body. Neurologist Doctor Dileep Yavatal treated him as part of a clinical trial, where some of the patients were treated with their own stem cells.

"I would bring a catheter from the groin all the way up into the artery in the brain and then at its last branching point, I would deliver the stem cells into this area," says Dileep R. Yavatal, MD, Miami Miller School of Medicine.

While he doesn't know if he was injected with his own stem cells, two months after treatment.

"I have had more movement and strength in my legs," says Anderson.

For the clinical trial, stem cells must be injected into the brain no later than two weeks after the stroke occurs.

James is now able to move around with a walker during rehab, and hopes to be able to compete in a triathlon again.


TOPIC: Stem Cells and Stroke
REPORT: MB# 3658

BACKGROUND: A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or severely reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and food. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. (SOURCE:

STROKE RISK FACTORS: There are two types of risk factors for stroke: controllable and uncontrollable. Controllable risk factors generally fall into two categories: lifestyle risk factors or medical risk factors. Lifestyle risk factors can often be changed, while medical risk factors can usually be treated. Both types can be managed best by working with a doctor, who can prescribe medications and advise on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle. (SOURCE:

SYMPTOMS: Stroke symptoms include:
* SUDDEN numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body.
* SUDDEN confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
* SUDDEN trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
* SUDDEN trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
* SUDDEN severe headache with no known cause.

LATEST MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH: Seriously disabled stroke sufferers surprised doctors by regaining movement in their hands and legs after receiving a pioneering new treatment where stem cells are injected into the brain. With intra-arterial delivery, the cells are delivered directly to the brain via the carotid artery, avoiding their becoming trapped in the lungs and liver, which occurs when stem cells have been administered intravenously. (SOURCE:;


Miami Miller School of Medicine

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Céline McArthur at

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