Medicine

Cerebral infarction: causes, symptoms, stem cell therapy, tips to prevent brain damage | Health

A stroke, also called paralysis, is an attack on the brain caused by reduced oxygen supply (due to a clot) or bleeding. A stroke is usually secondary to another condition, such as high blood pressure or sometimes head trauma where the symptoms of a stroke depend on the part of the brain affected.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Pradeep Mahajan, regenerative medicine researcher at StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt Ltd in Navi Mumbai, shared: “Often we notice changes in walking style, weakness in limbs, drooping mouth on one side, speech and swallowing difficulties, etc. in patients suffering from stroke.”

He revealed: “Emergency treatment within the golden hour, the first 60 minutes after a seizure, is important to prevent long-term brain damage. Unfortunately, not many patients reach hospital in time due to various factors to initiate immediate treatment. often a longer recovery period, often with a residual functional impairment.” So we need treatments that are effective in the early as well as the recovery period and the subsequent period to ensure that a patient regains his/her functional ability.

According to Dr Pradeep Mahajan, “The treatment plan differs in different periods. For example, if a patient comes in early after a stroke, treatment would focus on eliminating the cause (removing/dissolving the clot or stopping the bleeding). However, if the patient is brought in late – sometimes even after months – to manage the functional disability, then the treatment would be to remove/reduce scar tissue in the brain, if any, or increase muscle strength, etc.”

He explained: “Conventional treatments have limitations and side effects. While they are effective in the acute/emergency stages, they do not work quite well to promote functional recovery. This is because the signs and symptoms are mainly targeted. We have an approach needed as regenerative medicine, addressing pathology.”

Cell-based therapy is a branch of regenerative medicine in which cells, growth factors, peptides, exosomes, chaperones, etc. are used to treat various conditions. The principle is that these cells and molecules are already present in the body and function to repair everyday damage to cells and tissues and maintain the internal environment of the body.

“In a stroke, cell-based therapy can create a healthy pool of stem cells from another part of the body (usually bone marrow, the factory of stem cells) to multiply and improve the function of other cells. In addition, the above-mentioned biological molecules can reduce swelling, remove dead tissue from the affected area, improve blood and oxygen supply, etc., achieving overall results,” said Dr. Mahajan.

He added: “We have seen tremendous improvement in muscle strength, walking ability, speech and the ability to perform daily activities independently. Rehabilitation is, of course, an ongoing process, but the results of treatment are maintained over long periods, which means helps the patient to get back to routine and maintain his/her quality of life.”

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