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Pigs Offer an Improved Animal Model for Studying Recovery from Stroke

Researchers at the University of Georgia and Emory University have developed a new therapy that may hasten the recovery of patients who have suffered a stroke.

Researchers at the University of Georgia and Emory University have developed a new therapy that may hasten the recovery of patients who have suffered a stroke. The stem-cell based therapy was tested in pigs because of the similarity between the brains of pigs and humans. Pigs receiving surgical transplantation of the stem cells into the damaged areas of their brains showed improved blood flow, metabolism, and maintenance of neural connections within the brain.

INVESTIGATORS

  • Franklin West, PhD
  • Emily Baker, PhD
  • Simon Platt, BVM&S

THREE KEY BENEFITS TO THE FINDINGS

Demonstrates the effectiveness of a new therapy for limiting damage from and speeding recovery following stroke
Offers a new, highly relevant animal model for studying stroke
Opens the door for additional studies using this animal model system to study other stroke therapies

Images showing blood flow within the brain following recovery from stroke in pigs. The pigs receiving the stem cell therapy showed improved blood flow (B, yellow-green areas to the left of the arrow) in the area of the stroke compared to pigs receiving a placebo treatment (A). (FROM: Baker EW et al. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cell therapy enhances recovery in an ischemic stroke pig model.

LINKS

The rat race is over: New livestock model for stroke could speed discovery
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Stem Cell Therapy Enhances Recovery in an Ischemic Stroke Pig Model