Stem cell treatment and stroke: What’s in it for you? A Strokemark special report

September 3, 2018

“Stroke patient able to walk again after stem cell treatment.” The internet is full of stories like these. Stories that report the wonders of stem cells and present the treatment as a cure for everything. But is there any truth behind these headlines? As with anything else, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. We’re here to help you understand stem cell therapy, explain the current status of the research, and help you to make educated choices regarding this topic.

In your search for more information, you might have already come across profit-seeking companies posing as “clinics”. These organizations offer stem cell infusions to anyone who is willing to pay up to $50000 for essentially something that is not backed by any scientific evidence. Be skeptical about anyone who wants you to pay for treatment. There are no treatments yet offered to the general population, and these can be dangerous.

But don’t give up hope just yet. Stem cell research is happening all over the world. This research is promising, and its potential is exciting. However, while some treatments are already available (e.g., blood-forming stem cell transplantation to heal Leukemia) for stroke, it’s still in the testing phases. So although it gives us a very good reason for hope, the results of the research still need to be proven on a larger scale. Consequently, the treatment remains unapproved.

But with so much research going on, approval is on the horizon. However, it will still take a while (See Part II and V of our special report for an estimation).

Aiming to shed some light on stem cell therapy

Stem cell science is complex. There are several types of cells, several ways to administer them, several possible outcomes and risks, and the list goes on. This special report is our response to the many questions we got from our readers – those affected by stroke. We know that the information out there is confusing at times and misleading at others. We want to shed some light on the topic to make sure you have the knowledge you need  so that you can determine for yourself what’s real and what’s not.

Through this report, we aim to answer the following questions from our readers:

  • Is stem cell therapy real?
  • How do I know if a therapy or clinic is fake?
  • What is the best-case scenario outcome of such a treatment? (link part II)
  • Where can I find a clinical trial? (link to table and clinicaltrials.gov)

Before we dive deeper into the topic, please be aware of the following facts:

  • There are no stroke stem cell therapies on the market…anywhere. If it costs you money, it’s probably fake.
  • The FDA has never approved a single stem cell therapy for stroke.
  • The FDA is the US federal agency that must approve any medical treatment. The agency makes sure treatment is safe and effective before it comes out on the market.
  • In the absence of an FDA approval, beware of any “treatment”. Assume it’s dangerous and illegal, let alone expensive.
  • The closest thing to a treatment is a clinical trial.
  • Check here for more information: http://www.closerlookatstemcells.org/stem-cells-and-medicine/nine-things-to-know-about-stem-cell-treatments

This report aims to help you understand stem cell therapy from the practical perspective of a stroke patient in the US, giving you a comprehensive review of the things you need to know. This way you get all the relevant and factual information compiled onto one trusted site, instead of having to read bits and pieces all over the internet. As always, Strokemark is dedicated to giving you the most up-to-date scientific information. If you find terminology in our texts you do not understand, please have a look into our glossary (link).

Wishing you a happy Stem Cell Month!

 

What you can do with this information

Editorial note:

Strokemark is designating September as Stem Cell Month. We are dedicating the month to answer your questions and shed some light on this hot topic.

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