Monday June 24, 2019

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

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.

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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)

Next Story

Stem Cells May Have Cured Second Man of HIV

Despite various attempts by scientists using the same approach, Brown had remained the only person cured of HIV until the new London patient

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A protester wearing a mask with the face of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is flanked by two fellow activists wearing angry face emoji masks, during a protest against Facebook policies, in London, Britain (From archives) VOA

A decade after an American was “first” cured of HIV using stem cell transplant, a British man has experienced sustained remission from the disease for over an year, after receiving a similar transplant of virus-resistant cells raising prospects of a cure, said doctors, including one of Indian-origin.

The new “London patient” — who prefers to remain anonymous — was treated with stem cell transplants from donors with a rare genetic mutation known as CCR5-delta 32, which made him resistant to HIV, just like the first cured case of Timothy Ray Brown, better known as the “Berlin patient”.

The “London patient” has been in remission for 18 months since he stopped taking antiretroviral drugs, according to the study published in the journal Nature.

“By achieving remission in a second patient using a similar approach, we have shown that the Berlin Patient was not an anomaly and that it really was the treatment approached that eliminated HIV in these two people,” lead author Ravindra Gupta, Professor at University College London, was quoted as saying by CNN.

The method used may not be appropriate for all patients but offers hope for new treatment strategies, including gene therapies, Gupta added.

The London patient is under observation, as it is still too early to say that he has been cured of HIV, the report said.

Nearly one million people die annually from HIV-related causes. Treatment for HIV, known as antiretroviral therapy, involves medications that suppress the virus, which people with HIV need to take for their entire lives.

The London patient was first diagnosed with HIV infection in 2003 and began antiretroviral therapy in 2012. Later, he was also diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma — cancer of the immune system.

Lingam is the symbol of Lord Shiva.
Lingam is the symbol of Lord Shiva.

After undergoing chemotherapy, he also underwent a stem cell transplant in 2016, and subsequently remained on antiretroviral drugs for 16 months.

Later, he went without drugs to test whether he was truly in HIV-1 remission.

The London patient has now been in remission for 18 months, and doctors have confirmed that his HIV viral load remains undetectable, the report said.

Similarly, the Berlin Patient had been living with HIV and routinely using antiretroviral drugs when he was diagnosed with a different disease called acute myeloid leukemia — cancer of the blood and bone marrow.

Also Read- Daily Consumption of Garlic, Onion Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer

After two bone marrow transplants, Brown was considered cured of his HIV-1 infection.

Traces of HIV were seen in Brown’s blood a few years after he stopped antiretroviral drugs. However, because the HIV remained undetectable, he is still considered clinically cured of his infection, according to his doctors.

Despite various attempts by scientists using the same approach, Brown had remained the only person cured of HIV until the new London patient, CNN reported. (IANS)