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UTHealth, Athersys preclinical research on stem cell therapy for stroke presented at AHA conference
Date:2/10/2011

HOUSTON and LOS ANGELES February 10th, 2011 Medical researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) presented new research results at the American Heart Association International Stroke Conference that demonstrated how MultiStem, a novel stem cell therapy being developed by Athersys, Inc. provided multiple benefits when administered in preclinical models of ischemic stroke. The study, conducted by leading researchers from the Department of Neurology at the UTHealth Medical School working in collaboration with scientists at Athersys, illustrated the potential benefits of MultiStem therapy for treating stroke. Researchers observed that intravenous administration of MultiStem one day after a stroke reduced inflammatory damage in the brain and resulted in a significant improvement in motor skills.

"We are seeing a paradigm shift in the way some types of stem cells may enhance recovery from stroke," said Sean I. Savitz, M.D., principal investigator and associate professor of neurology at UTHealth. "The stem cells may actually exert some of their effects on other organs such as the spleen. The spleen seems to play an important role in some neurological disorders by contributing, for example, to ongoing inflammation and brain injury after stroke. We're finding these stem cells are working on dampening inflammation involving the spleen."

According to the American Heart Association, approximately 800,000 individuals suffer a stroke each year in the United States, and an estimated 2 million individuals suffer a stroke each year in the U.S., Japan, and major European countries combined. Approximately 85% of strokes are ischemic, meaning they are caused by a blockage of blood flow in the brain, which occurs as a result of a clot or "thrombus". Currently there is only one FDA-approved drug therapy for the treatment of ischemic stroke, the thrombolytic tPA, which helps to dissolve the flow-impeding blood clot. H
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Contact: Deborah Mann Lake
deborah.m.lake@uth.tmc.edu
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert

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