Stem Cell Therapy Could Help People With TBIs

Stem Cells Linked To Cognitive Improvements Following Brain Injuries


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Scientists in the US believe that stem cell therapies could be used to make it easier for patients to deal with the long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Preclinical research carried out at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School showed that multipotent adult progenitor cell (MAPC) therapy could prove to be pivotal.

The team conducted tests on mice and found that after four months, the rodents that had received the strongest dosages of stem cell treatment had less inflammation. Tests also confirmed the mice that received MAPC therapy displayed more improvements in cognitive function than the other animals.

Published in the latest issue of STEM CELLS Translational medicine, the findings could pave the way for new human treatments.

There are very few pharmaceutical options currently available to treat the long-term effects of a TBI, but lead researcher Charles Cox hopes that intravenous MAPC injections could be administered to people in the future.

"Based on our data, we saw improved spatial learning, improved motor deficits and fewer active antibodies in the mice that were given the stronger concentration of MAPCs," he commented.

The main problem people face after suffering a serious brain injury is cellular damage, which causes neurological impairment and inflammation. It is particularly important that swelling around the brain is monitored in the period immediately after an accident has happened.

Around half of patients with severe head problems need to undergo surgery to remove or repair ruptured blood vessels.

If these latest experiments do result in innovative new treatments, the impact could be huge.

According to the latest statistics there are around 500,000 people aged between 17 and 74 living with the after-effects of a serious brain injury in Britain alone. In addition to this, approximately one million people are taken to an accident and emergency department each year after receiving a blow to the head.

Expert Opinion
There has been much improved research into head and brain injuries in recent years all aiming to help the victims and improve their lives.

Although a long way off, it is encouraging that there are signs within the healthcare industry that there are potentially ways to help those suffering from brain injuries.

In the meantime, our own research has shown that people who suffer a serious injury have a better chance of recovery with speedy specialist rehabilitation and it is crucial that people get the necessary support and therapies they need to be able to maximise their quality of life."
Neil Whiteley, Partner