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Stem cells appear to aid stroke recovery

Researchers in Bolivia have announced that rats injected with stem cells recovered from strokes more quickly, and their findings have potential for treating human stroke victims.

According to a BBC story, current best practice for stroke treatment is to treat many patients with “clot-busting” drugs in the first hour after a stroke has taken place, commonly referred to as the “golden hour.”

The most common types of strokes are caused by a blockage of the blood flow to the brain by blood clots, or by fatty deposits in blood vessel linings.

Risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, long periods of physical inactivity and a family history of stroke. Use of birth control pills can increase the risk of the blood clots that trigger ischemic strokes.

While all birth control pills can increase the risk of stroke, a number of studies show that pills with the synthetic hormone drospirenone can increase that risk up to three times compared to other contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

Researchers reported that rats injected with stem cells 30 minutes after a stroke had almost normal brain function restored within two weeks.

The BBC story describes stem cells are the body’s “master cells”, which have the potential to become many different cell types and theoretically replace cells lost from disease or injury.

The Bolivian researchers speculated that the early introduction of the stem cells might interrupt the typical “chain reaction” of tissue damage following a stroke, in which the initial injury harms additional cells in surrounding areas.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.

See the story here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21203313