Comparing Stem Cell Therapy to Traditional Stroke Treatments

Comparing Stem Cell Therapy to Traditional Stroke Treatments

Those who suffer a stroke can end up with severe brain damage, decreased quality of life and a shorter life expectancy. While traditional stroke treatment can be effective at preventing strokes, it isn’t focused on long-term restoration of brain function.

While still in its infancy, stem cell therapy holds great promise in treating stroke patients and restoring brain function. Keep reading to learn more about stem cell therapy for stroke and how it compares to traditional stroke treatments.

Traditional Stroke Treatments

Most traditional stroke treatments are aimed at restoring healthy blood flow and reducing the chances of the condition reoccurring, as the risk of brain damage increases with each recoccurance. Several treatments can aid in stroke victim recovery. 


Stroke victims are often prescribed anticoagulants to treat their condition. Anticoagulants change a patient's blood composition, thus reducing the chance of blood clots forming. Anticoagulants can be prescribed for short-term and long-term use.

Blood pressure medicine

As high blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke, patients are often prescribed blood pressure medicine to reduce future risk of the disease. 

Photo by Ksenia Yakovleva on Unsplash


Patients with more severe strokes may need to undergo surgery. For example, endovascular procedures help repair weak spots in a blood vessel. 

Stem Cell Therapy: What is it?

Stem cell therapy is a modern therapy that uses stem cells to regenerate damaged tissues and cells in the human body. Stem cell therapy is still in its infancy, but holds great potential in regenerating cells and treating a variety of diseases.

Stem cells are human cells capable of developing into many different cells, such as skin cells, brain cells and blood cells. This is known as differentiation. This is what gives stem cell therapy many potential uses in medicine, including stroke treatment.


Comparing Stem Cell Therapy to Traditional Treatments

Comparison of effectiveness

The main idea of using stem cells for stroke treatment is to replace damaged neurons caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. One main advantage of stem cell therapy for stroke victims over traditional treatments is that it replaces damaged neurons, whereas traditional therapy is mostly focused on preventing the condition from reoccurring.

According to Stanford stem cell stroke treatment also has the advantage of using multiple modalities in combination to enhance stroke recovery.
Comparison of risks and potential side effects
Common risks and side effects of traditional medication include:

  • Bleeding
  • Dizziness and weakness
  • Abdominal pain

Surgeries for stroke treatment also come with their own set of risks. When performing surgery, there is a high risk that the patient will suffer another stroke, or in more serious cases, even death.

Therapies using stem cells for stroke come with risks too. Side effects of stem cell therapy include unwanted immune responses and tumor formation. Therapy using stem cell for stroke is less invasive than surgeries and therefore carries fewer life-threatening risks.

Comparison of cost and accessibility

The cost of stem cell stroke therapy is higher than traditional surgeries and medications. The cost is higher because treating stroke with stem cells is focused on the long-term recovery of damaged neurons.

The eligibility criteria for receiving stem cells for stroke recovery at clinics like Swiss Medica is more relaxed compared to the criteria for surgery. A stroke patient who wants stem cell therapy must be:

  • Able to travel
  • In stable condition
  • Free from cancer or infections.

Current Research and Future Potential

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in many countries and so there is extensive research into treatments for this disease, including research in treating stroke stem with cells. 

Preclinical trials have shown that stem cell therapy can help restore neurological functions, which is beneficial for victims of stroke who suffer from brain damage.

Stem cell therapy for strokes remains an experimental treatment but has great potential in the treatment of strokes. As stem cell therapy research progresses and scientists better understand the mechanisms of stem cell therapy, we will be better able to treat strokes.

In conclusion

Stem cell therapy for stroke victim recovery can provide many benefits that traditional treatments fail to provide. It’s important to keep in mind the cost of stem cell therapy for strokes is typically more expensive than traditional stroke treatment, as it’s focused on long-term recovery.

Stem cell therapy can replace damaged cells in the brain caused by stroke and help restore cognitive function in stroke patients. However, when using stem cells for stroke treatment it’s important to weigh risks against the potential benefits. 

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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