Focus now shifting toward migrating stem cells for stroke treatment



Lipitor users know that stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality in the U.S., claiming the lives of an estimated 130,000 people every year.

Lipitor users know that stroke is one of the leading causes of mortality in the U.S., claiming the lives of an estimated 130,000 people every year. As the need to find a cure continues to grow, new studies are starting to shift the focus on what doctors should be looking for when it comes to finding a new source of treatment.

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden have previously discovered a new stem cell in the brain, and are now revealing that these cells are actively involved in the brain after a person has suffered a stroke. The colleagues studies focused on how the cells, known as pericytes, are dropped from blood vessels and migrate to the brain during the stages of a stroke. They are then converted into microglia cells, which are the essential inflammatory cells for the brain.

While pericytes are known for their ability to repair tissue for a number of organs, their assisting properties have rarely been tested on the brain, something the researchers have worked to reverse. Dr. Gesine Paul-Visse, a scientist at Lund University and lead author of the study, strongly believes that pericytes are the key into finding a new revolution in stroke treatment.

"The fact that pericytes can be converted into microglia, which have an important function in the brain after a stroke, was an unexpected finding that opens up a new possibility to influence inflammation associated with a stroke." Paul-Visse said in a statement.