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Study 'offers hope to stroke patients'

Study 'offers hope to stroke patients'
26th August 2008

Scientists in the US have discovered a new technique which they say could potentially restore damaged functions several weeks or even months after patients have had a stroke.

The new method involves jump-starting the growth of nerve fibres to compensate for brain cells which have been destroyed by a stroke, according to an article published in the Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation journal.

Anti-nogo-A immunotherapy, the name of the experimental approach, has shown positive effects in animals which have had strokes, and is now the subject of an ongoing clinical trial in humans who have suffered spinal cord injuries.

Gwendolyn Kartje, a professor in the department of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy and department of neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, commented: "In the best-case scenario, this would open up the window of time that people could recover and go back to normal functional status."

In a separate development, the Daily Mail has reported that stroke patients could be "tricked" into getting better.

Wendy Powell, a PhD student at the University of Plymouth, has developed a special treadmill with virtual reality screens which makes users think they are walking slower than they actually are - encouraging patients to walk faster and further.

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