Bone marrow stem cell treatment has no added benefit over the conventional treatment in paralysis, also known as stroke, reveals a study conducted by AIIMS.
According to the study, people suffering from ischemic stroke should exercise caution while opting for stem cell therapy of any kind until more controlled studies come to the fore.
The study financed by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, was conducted over a period of six years between 2008 and 2014 and had sample size of 120 patients, all of whom had suffered from stroke.
Of the 120 patients, 60 patients were assigned to receive conventional treatment and the rest were assigned to bone marrow stem cells treatment besides the conventional treatment.
“While half of the patients underwent conventional treatment, the other half underwent stem cell aspiration from hip bone. Bone marrow cells were infused into the veins of their forearms,” the study stated.
On an average 28 crore bone marrow cells were injected of which blood forming stem cells were on average 29 lakhs per patient. Later, the patients faced difficulties in using arms and legs.
They were assesed at an interval of 3, 6 months and 12 months and the difficulties they experienced doing various activities of daily livings were measured using two scales which revealed that stem cell treatment is safe but there is no added benefits over the conventional treatment method.
“The study proved that stem cell treatment though safe, has no advantages over the conventional treatment process.
Infact, any patient suffering from disabling and incurable diseases, should not go for stem cell treatment without knowing the scientific effects of it. The new paradigm of clinical practice which is called evidence based medicine requires evidence of clear benefit which outways any risk before a treatment is used in clinical practice,” said Kameshwar Prasad, Professor and Head, Department of Neurology & Director of Clinical Epidemiology Unit, AIIMS.
The study, which is the first and largest report on stem cells treatment for stroke has been published in the American Journal “Stroke”.
Apart from AIIMS, SGPGI Lucknow, PGIMER Chandigarh, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and Army Research and Referral, New Delhi also participated in the study.