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

owever, tPA must be administered within several hours from when the stroke has occurred in order to be effective. Due to its limited window, only about 5% of all patients who could potentially benefit from therapy with tPA actually receive treatment. Given the lack of effective therapies, many patients who suffer a stroke require extensive physical therapy or experience significant or permanent disability, and as a result, must receive long-term institutional care or be cared for by a family member. As a consequence of an aging population, recent forecasts from the American Heart Association project that the prevalence of stroke will increase by 25% in the next 20 years, and the total estimated annual cost for treating and caring for stroke survivors will skyrocket from $64 billion in 2010 to $140 billion in 2030, representing a substantial increase in cost to the national healthcare system.

In the rat model of stroke used in the study, animals that received treatment with MultiStem showed statistically significant improvement in motor skills relative to animals that received placebo, and also showed reduced cell death, reduction of inflammatory cytokines and an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines. Interestingly, researchers found that animals treated with placebo showed a reduction in spleen size and an increase in inflammatory cytokines in the blood, whereas animals that were treated with MultiStem showed normal spleen size and increased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines in the blood. The spleen is believed to play a significant role in promoting and sustaining the inflammation that can result in substantial long-term damage following brain injury.

"Ischemic stroke represents an enormous clinical, economic and social burden that is expected to increase dramatically in the years ahead as a result of an aging population, and the corresponding increase in the number of individuals that are susceptible to all forms of cardiovascular
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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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