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Some improvement in stroke patients after stem cell treatment

15th June 2012

Researchers in Scotland have said five patients involved in a new type of stem cell treatment have shown "signs of slight improvement".

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The team, from Glasgow's Southern General Hospital, talked about their research at the International Society for Stem Cell Research conference in Yokohama in Japan.

They injected stem cells created from the brain cells of a foetus into the brains of stroke patients.

The patients involved in the treatment were all male, over 60 and had been severely disabled as the result of a stroke.

The trial began in November 2010 and to date five of the six patients have shown a small improvement.

The team said some patients had less slurred speech and improved leg or arm movements.

However Professor Keith Muir of Glasgow University, the trial's leader, said the changes were "nothing very dramatic".

Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of Reneuron, the company that made the stem cells, explained the technology used.

He said: "We originally derived this material nine years ago from foetal tissue. But what we've been able to do with the technology is to grow cells from the original sample such that we don't have to source any further tissue".

He added that it would be at least five years before a treatment was available but that it was "a case of so far, so good". 

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