Stem Cells from Teeth May Aid Stroke Patients

A groundbreaking discovery during stem cell research of teeth may provide a boost in stroke therapy.

A group of researchers determined that stem cells grow to resemble brain cells, something that could eventually be used in the brain. The information comes from the University of Adelaide in Australia. It appears in Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

The interest in this type of research stems from using dental pulp stem cells in post-stroke neurological studies, which came on the heels of successful preclinical studies.

For drug treatment among stroke patients to be most successful, the treatment must be administered within hours of the stroke. The problem is some people do not seek the necessary treatment in that amount of time or don’t have access to it.

The researchers determined that stem cells taken from teeth can thrive and develop networks similar to the way brain cells do. The cells don’t grow into full neurons but the research team believes it may be possible at some point.

The cells are placed into an environment that’s as close to a normal brain environment as possible. The research can likely take the next step when the team is provided with a patient’s actual stem cells, not just general stem cells.

If successful, treatment for stroke patients could be provided months or even years after suffering the stroke.

This type of research may lead to treatment of other common brain disorders.