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Improvement in some patients who underwent neuronal transplantation following stroke, according to study by University of Pittsburgh researchers

PITTSBURGH, April 11 -- Douglas Kondziolka, M.D., professor of neurological surgery and radiation oncology at the University of Pittsburgh department of neurological surgery, reported today that some patients who underwent neuronal transplantation following stroke showed improvement in motor function.

His study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons in San Francisco, reported on the six-month neurologic outcome and 12-to-18 month safety data of patients in the first research study of a treatment aimed at reversing neurological deficits from stroke.

Dr. Kondziolka's study involved 12 patients in a phase I trial that evaluated the safety and feasibility of implanting human neuronal cells for treatment of chronic stroke in the basal ganglia region of the brain.

The nine men and three women in the study varied in age from 44 to 75 years. In eight patients, the stroke involved only the basal ganglia region of the brain and in four patients, both the basal ganglia and regional cortex were involved. All patients had stable neurologic deficits at least two months prior to implantation. The first four patients were treated with two million neurons implanted at three sites along a single needle pass within the basal ganglia. The remaining eight patients were randomized to receive either two million neurons along one needle pass or a total of six million neurons implanted along three trajectories.

Assessment of safety and feasibility was performed using the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS), European Stroke Scale (ESS), Short Form 36 (SF36) and Barthel Index (BI).

Following implantation, subjective improvement, which included increased strength, sensation and coordination, was reported in eight patients.

Objectively, six patients had an increase in ESS score ranging from three to 10 points, with four of these patients improving by eight or more points. Thre
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Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz
raczkiewiczfa@msx.upmc.edu
412-624-2607
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
10-Apr-2000


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