Researchers successfully repaired stroke-damaged rodent brains using human skin cells

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A path-breaking study by researchers at Lund University in Sweden has opened up a new era in brain research, rekindling hope for people rendered helpless by stroke.

The researchers successfully transplanted reprogrammed human skin cells into the brain of rats to function like normal nerve cells.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), says that it is possible to heal the injury caused by stroke and recreate nerve connections that have been lost.

“Six months after the transplantation, we could see how the new cells had repaired the damage that a stroke had caused in the rats’ brains,” says Professor Zaal Kokaia, who together with senior professor Olle Lindvall and researcher Sara Palma-Tortosa at the Division of Neurology is behind the study.

Strokes occur when brain blood supply is either blocked or leaked (haemorrhagic stroke), preventing brain tissue from getting vital oxygen and nutrients. Brain cells soon begin to die, causing physical and mental complications.

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