UTHealth enrolls first U.S. patient in novel stem cell trial to treat stroke disability

The first U.S. patient to participate in a global study of a stem cell therapy injected directly into the brain to treat stroke disability was enrolled in the clinical trial this week at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

“At McGovern Medical School at UTHealth, we have been studying cellular therapies as a novel treatment for stroke over the past 10 years. We are very excited to partner with ReNeuron and enroll the first patient into the PISCES III study,” said Sean I. Savitz, MD, the study’s global principal investigator and professor and director of the Institute for Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease at UTHealth. “This study represents an important next step in the development of novel cellular therapies for chronic stroke and, to date, is the most advanced clinical trial to determine whether neural stem cells improve recovery in patients chronically disabled by stroke.”

Full story at news-medical.net

Diverse PT Research Projects Garner Foundation Grants

The use of transcranial direct current stimulation in conjunction with constraint-induced movement therapy, the underlying disease process among individuals at high risk for rheumatoid arthritis, a combination of stem cell therapy and tailored rehabilitation for patients poststroke, and the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral-based therapy for patients after spine surgery will be the subjects of research projects recently awarded $200,000 in grants from the Foundation for Physical Therapy (Foundation).

Bernadette Gillick, PT, MSPT, PhD, is this year’s recipient of the $80,000 Magistro Family Foundation Research Grant. Gillick, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, is conducting a 2-year project to study the effectiveness of transcranial direct stimulation combined with constraint-induced movement therapy to improve hand function in children with weakness after stroke. She was a former recipient of Foundation Promotion of Doctoral Studies II (PODS II) scholarships in 2009 and 2010. The Magistro grant is funded by the Magistro Family Foundation Endowment Fund.

Full story of PT research from the Garner Foundation at APTA

Stem cell hope for Parkinson’s patients

By Belinda Tasker

Stem Cell for Parkinson'sTRANSPLANTING stem cells into the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease could one day replace medication as the best way to alleviate their symptoms.

People with the degenerative brain condition gradually lose dopamine-producing neurons, affecting their motor skills and causing their limbs to shake.

Australian scientists have come up with a way to effectively reprogram embryonic stem cells so they can act as the dopamine neurons would normally.

While the technique needs to be refined before clinical trials start, the hope is to one day transplant the reprogrammed stem cells into the brains of Parkinson’s patients.

Full story at News.com.au