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Stem cell therapy trial shows no adverse effects to the first patients

The world’s first clinical trial of brain stem cells has taken place at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital with results from an independent assessment showing that there were no adverse effects on the first three patients tested.

The trial looked into how brain stem cells could be used to treat strokes and after positive results, can now move into the next phase, paving the way for the therapy to be tested on more patients to discover new treatments for stroke victims.

The eventual hope is that stem cells will ultimately help to repair damaged brain tissue.

Professor Keith Muir, who is leading the trial, commented that he and his researchers need to be assured of safety before they are able to progress to the next stage of testing the effects of stem cell therapy.

“Because this is the first time this type of cell therapy has been used in humans, it is vitally important that we determine that it is safe to proceed.” He said.

The first patient to received the treatment in 2010 and has since been tried out on two more people, with each receiving very small doses of stem cells in trials to examine the safety of the procedure.

Over the next 12 months, as many as nine more patients will begin to be given progressively larger doses. This is to allow doctors to assess the best way to measure how effective the treatment will be in later larger trials, but will assess the safety of the procedure primarily.

The development of stem cell treatments is still at a very early stage and will not be widely available for many years to come. The Stroke Association claims that strokes kill about 67,000 people in the UK every year, making it the third most common cause of death after cancer and heart disease in England and Wales.

View the original BBC article here.

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Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

Written by Emma Hilton

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