Human stem cell therapy in ischaemic stroke: a review
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability. Globally, 15 million people suffer a stroke each year, of whom more than 5 million die, and a further 5 million are left permanently disabled. Current treatment options offer modest benefits, and there is a pressing need for new and effective treatments.
Stem cell therapy is a well-established treatment modality for various haematological diseases, with its use now being explored in different disease processes, including various neurological diseases, as well as vascular conditions such as ischaemic heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. Promising results have been seen in animal models of stroke, with evidence of significant functional benefits. Translation to the bedside, however, is in its early stages. This review will discuss the scientific background to stem cell therapy in ischaemic stroke, including evidence from current clinical trials.