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Researchers have developed a new stem cell based treatment for stroke.

This therapy reduces brain damage and enhances the brain’s natural healing process. This Treatment, known as AB126, uses Extracellular Vesicles (EV).

Extracellular Vesicles are fluid filled structures called exosomes. These exosomes are produced by human neural stem cells.

In a study, a dose of AB126 was applied to stroke induced mice models. The treatment improved memory and motor control in animal models. Researchers used MRI scans to measure the rates of brain damage results compared with the untreated, age matched stroke models showed about 35percentage decrease in brain injury and 50 percentage decrease in brain tissue loss.

These induced neural stem cells replace stroke damaged brain tissue. When you get stroke, your immune cells are activated to repair and remove damaged brain cells.

Prolonged activation of immune cells increases brain damage. Stem cells derived exosomes can inhibit this prolonged immune cell activation. Protecting the healthy brain cells from further damage after a stroke.

This EV therapy has the potential to overcome the limitations of many cell therapies. Exosomes are smaller in size (40-100nm) than cells. This enable to cross certain barriers that cells cannot overcome. They can even pass the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) which is the barrier that separates the circulating blood from the brain. EV can disguise itself from the body’s own defences in the blood stream. Hence, it administration does not trigger any immunogenic response.

Exosomes can carry and deliver multiple doses of regenerative medicine and have the capacity to store and administer the treatment without specialised equipment. Those exosomes preferentially accumulate in the area of injury.

Researchers observed better mobility, improved balance and measurable behavioural benefits in AB126- treated animal models.

Stroke occurs when blood supply to part of your brain is severely reduced. Brain tissue is deprived of oxygen and nutrients and brain cells begin to die.

Around 15 million people suffer from strokes worldwide each year. Of these 5 million die and another 5 million are permanently disabled.

Strokes can be prevented through weight loss and regular exercises and also through managing your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Quit smoking and reducing alcohol consumptions can prevent stroke.

There are only two FDA- approved stroke therapies to date both of them involve the opening of major blood vessels which could itself trigger a secondary injury.

Human clinical trials of AB126 therapy will begin next year scientist are hoping to extend this treatment’s potential benefits towards epilepsy, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

These treatments can change cell progression and improve functional recovery.

Reference: University of Georgia.

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