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Stroke patients have recovered faster after being injected with stem cells taken from their own bone marrow, scientists say.
Twenty-five survivors had their marrow cells infused back into their blood and saw their recovery boosted by one point on a six-point scale.
Researchers - University - Texas - Houston - Tests
Researchers at the University of Texas in Houston now hope to move forward with broader tests of the experimental therapy.
The stem cells, which are essentially blank building blocks for the body to heal itself with, appear to have helped nerves regrow in the brain.
Trial - Formula - One - Champion - Michael
The trial comes after former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was last week believed to have had stem cell treatment to help his brain recover from a coma he entered after a skiing accident in 2013.
The 25 patients were all given injections of their own bone marrow cells within 72 hours of turning up at a hospital with stroke symptoms.
Recovery - Progress - Patients - Infusions
Their recovery progress was compared to 185 patients who didn't have the infusions and was found to be moving faster.
Neurology professor Dr Sean Savitz said: 'In the typical stroke injury, you can see the degeneration of the nerve tracts where it thins out.
Months - Tracts - Patients
'What surprised us was that after three to six months, we could see the tracts thicken up again in some patients.
'We do not typically see that same level of response in patients with such severe strokes.
Research - Return - Nerve - Tracts - Cell
'But further research will be needed to determine if the return of the nerve tracts is because of the cell treatment or part of natural recovery.'
More than 100,000 strokes happen every year in the UK and there are around 1.2million stroke survivors alive today, but it's still a leading cause of death.
US - People - Out - Deaths
In the US, about 795,000 people have strokes annually and some 140,000 of them die – about one out of every 20 deaths.
Stroke damages the brain by starving its...
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