Monday November 19, 2018

Novel Stroke Treatment Repairs Damaged Brain Tissue

The treatment called AB126 was developed using extracellular vesicles (EV) -- fluid-filled structures known as exosomes -- which are generated from human neural stem cells

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This research can help in understanding human cognitive processes. Pixabay
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Researchers have developed a new stem-cell based treatment for stroke that reduces brain damage and accelerates the brain’s natural healing tendencies.

The treatment called AB126 was developed using extracellular vesicles (EV) — fluid-filled structures known as exosomes — which are generated from human neural stem cells.

“This is truly exciting evidence because exosomes provide a stealth-like characteristic, invisible even to the body’s own defenses. When packaged with therapeutics, these treatments can actually change cell progression and improve functional recovery,” said Steven Stice, a professor at the University of Georgia in the US who led the research team.

ALSO READ: Whole-brain radiation technique to treat brain cancer causes memory loss: Study

Fully able to cloak itself within the bloodstream, this type of regenerative EV therapy appears to be the most promising in overcoming the limitations of many cells therapies-with the ability for exosomes to carry and deliver multiple doses-as well as the ability to store and administer treatment, the researchers said.

brain
Human clinical trials for the treatment could begin as early as next year, the researchers added. Pixabay

Small in size, the tiny tubular shape of an exosome allows EV therapy to cross barriers that cells cannot, said the study published in the journal Translational Stroke Research.

ALSO READ: Stimulating Brain with Electricity may synchronize Brainwaves and help improve short-term working Memory: Study

Following the administration of AB126, the researchers used MRI scans to measure brain atrophy rates in preclinical, age-matched stroke models, which showed an approximately 35 percent decrease in the size of injury and 50 percent reduction in brain tissue loss.

“Until now, we had very little evidence specific to neural exosome treatment and the ability to improve motor function. Just days after stroke, we saw better mobility, improved balance, and measurable behavioral benefits in treated animal models,” Stice said.

Human clinical trials for the treatment could begin as early as next year, the researchers added. (IANS)

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Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Heart-Failure

For the study, the team induced experimental heart attacks in macaque monkeys

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heart-rate, inflammation
Higher levels of inflammation may in turn increase risk for heart diseases (IANS)

Stem cells may potentially be used as a “one-and-done” approach to restore function in people with heart-failure, a study has found.

Reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the study showed human stem cell treatment can possibly return the hearts’ functioning to better than 90 per cent of normal in macaque monkeys with heart attacks.

Heart-failure that causes nearly 10 million deaths worldwide, is a condition caused by lack of blood flow. The stem cells will help “form new muscle that will integrate into heart so it may pump vigorously again,” said Charles “Chuck” Murry, Professor at the University of Washington.

“Our findings show that human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes can re-muscularise infarcts in macaque monkey hearts and, in doing so, reduce scar size and restore a significant amount of heart function. This should give hope to people with heart disease,” Murry said.

For the study, the team induced experimental heart attacks in macaque monkeys.

Two weeks later, the researchers took heart cells that they had grown from embryonic human embryonic stem cells and injected them into and around the young scar tissue. Each animal received roughly 750 million of these human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.

heart beat rate
Representational image. Pixabay

At four weeks after treatment, the ejection fraction in the treated animals rose to 49.7 per cent, about half-way back to normal, as compared to the untreated control animals, which remained unchanged at about 40 per cent.

MRI scans showed that new heart muscle had grown within what had been scar tissue in the treated hearts, while no new muscle was seen in the untreated animals.

Moreover, the human heart cells had also formed new muscle tissue in the damaged region. The new muscle tissue had replaced 10 per cent to 29 per cent of the scar tissue, integrated with the surrounding healthy tissue and developed into mature heart cells, the researchers said.

Also Read: Virtual Reality Tech Transforming Heart Treatments

Murry said that the research aims to develop a treatment that could be given to people shortly after a heart attack to prevent heart failure.

Because heart cells are long-lived there should be no need for additional treatments, he said. The transplanted stem cells would also be genetically altered to reduce the risk of immune rejection, which often complicates organ transplantation.

“What we hope to do is create a “one-and-done” treatment with frozen “off-the-shelf” cells that, like O-negative blood, can go into any recipient with only moderate immune suppression,” Murry said. (IANS)