A new method that is helping people recover from strokes

Health Watch

It’s the fifth most common cause of death and the number one cause of long-term disability.

We’re talking about stroke, and now researchers are conducting a new clinical trial to see if a drug made from stems cells helps with stroke recovery.

Malena Buck couldn’t walk or talk for months after a stroke, now she’s playing Jenga with her students.

A simple signature speaks volumes for Malena Buck.

Malena had a stroke during Saint Pete’s college graduation she couldn’t write her name, walk or even talk with her students.

Malena Buck, St. Petersburg College student life & leadership coordinator says, ” I was walking in a walker for a long time. I couldn’t move my hand.”

But then, through a USF study, she had a drug made from stem cells injected in her brain at the University of Chicago.

This was after the surgery. You can see her waving her right hand.

” I told the doctor and he goes they can’t work that fast but the minute I got out of surgery I could do things that I couldn’t do before, ” continues Malena.

USF and Tampa General Hospital doctor Scott Burgin says most patients can feel the effects of the stem cells gradually.

William Scott Burgin, University of South Florida, Morsani College of Medicine says, ” Preliminary research has shown that in these circumstances it’s very encouraging that using these cells can aid recovery.”

Doctor Burgin says right now most stroke recovery treatments are limited to conventional therapy.

He says there isn’t a medication that helps with recovery.

” This would be kicking the door open to an entire new realm of possibilities for people with the most disabling medical condition that we come across in the world, ” says Doctor Burgin.

After the surgery, Malena’s life changed dramatically.

Malena says, ” If it wasn’t for them or the stem cells, I would have just given up.”

Participants in the clinical trial must be age 35 to 75 and have limited movements of their arms and legs 12 months after stroke.

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