A 60-year-old man in the Czech Republic suffered a stroke in 2018. The patient received treatment aimed at dissolving the blood clot in his carotid artery in a hospital near the city of Brno (Czech Republic). However, the stroke affected the left hemisphere of the man’s brain, causing significant paralysis and loss of sensitivity in the right side of the body and speech disorders. According to the patient’s daughter, Lucy, doctors warned the family that the father would not recognize his relatives and would not be able to live on his own.
The family organized a 3-month rehabilitation for the man in Prague, after which he could get out of bed, began to learn personal hygiene skills, dressing, eating with his left hand, using a wheelchair, walking with help. However, the daughter did not call it an improvement, because the father could not distinguish colors, could not read, did not know the numbers, and she was not going to put up with it.
In April 2019, Lucy heard on television about the possibilities of cell therapy for stroke using umbilical cord blood stem cells. She contacted various clinics in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and realized that they were losing nothing, stem cells will not worsen her father’s condition.
The patient was treated with hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells of umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord in Slovakia. Stem cells were administered intravenously and intrathecally. The patient received the first course of treatment with donor stem cells from umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord of an unknown child.
When the patient returned to Prague for a second course of rehabilitation, doctors who remembered him a year ago noted that he made significant progress. In particular, the patient could walk without support to a certain point, began to talk more, as well as could pronounce letters at the request of a speech therapist. The family noted an improvement in the patient’s mental functions.
The next course of cell therapy the patient underwent in late 2019. This time his granddaughter’s stem cells were used. In 2019, Lucy became pregnant and saved the umbilical cord blood of her newborn daughter during childbirth.
Lucy Pinova, the daughter of a man with a stroke, advises all women to think about the possible use of umbilical cord blood while waiting for a baby. “You never know what might happen to your family tomorrow or in 10 years, and when you might need those cells,” says Lucy.
According to official statistics from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, about 100,000 strokes are registered in the country every year, but it is estimated that this figure is actually twice as high. Stroke mortality in Ukraine is up to 18% of all deaths, the second most common cause of death for Ukrainians.
Despite the advances in modern neurology, vascular and neurosurgery, rehabilitation, the quality of life of stroke patients is often far from satisfactory, however, among the innovative treatments for cerebrovascular disease, cell therapy is considered quite encouraging. Stem cells secrete growth factors that promote the regeneration of damaged tissues, including neurons and neuroglia.
In clinical studies, the most widely used stem cells are isolated from bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, placenta, umbilical cord. In 2020, regenerative medicine marked 15 years since the world’s first use of umbilical cord blood in the treatment of cerebral palsy. And in 2013, the Institute of Cell Therapy together with the leading specialized research institutes of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine held an international scientific conference “Cell technologies in obstetrics, gynecology, neonatology and pediatric neurology.
Sources: https://www.cekammiminko.cz/2020/10/05/vnucka-darovala-pupecnikovou-krev-svemu-dedeckovi/ and https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/granddaughter-donated-newborn- stem-cells-her-grandfather-after-stroke