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Health Beat: Stem cells and stroke

By Melanie Falcon, Anchor / Reporter, @Melanie_Falcon, MFalcon@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:06:40 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 02 2013 04:35:26 PM CDT

Each year, 700,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States.

MIAMI -

Each year, 700,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States. Until now, the only recovery for paralysis brought on by the stroke was lengthy rehabilitation.

Now, a new stem cell therapy is helping stroke patients move again.

James Anderson is a triathlete and physical education teacher who was visiting Florida from Maine when suddenly, "I started to feel a little dizzy a little tingling in my right hand and ah I ended up having a stroke," he said.

Anderson did not respond to clot-busting medication or blockage treatments. So, he became paralyzed on the left side of his body. 

Dr. Dileep R. Yavatal, a neurologist, treated him as part of a clinical trial in which some of the patients were treated with their own stem cells.

While Anderson doesn’t know if he was injected with his own stem cells, two months after treatment, Anderson said, "I have had more movement and strength in my legs."

For the clinical trial, stem cells must be injected into the brain no later than two weeks after the stroke occurs.

Anderson is now able to move around with a walker during rehab and hopes to be able to compete in a triathlon again.

DOWNLOAD and VIEW research summary

DOWNLOAD and VIEW the full-length interview with Dr. Dileep R. Yavatal about using stem cells to help stroke patients