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Stem Cells International
Volume 2017, Article ID 3267352, 14 pages
Review Article

A Look into Stem Cell Therapy: Exploring the Options for Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, 11041 Campus Street, Risley Hall, Room 219, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
2Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA
3Department of Neurosurgery, Second Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
4Department of Neurosurgery, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to John H. Zhang; moc.oohay@0193gnahznhoj

Received 19 May 2017; Revised 21 August 2017; Accepted 12 September 2017; Published 22 October 2017

Academic Editor: Heinrich Sauer

Copyright © 2017 Cesar Reis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Neural stem cells (NSCs) offer a potential therapeutic benefit in the recovery from ischemic stroke. Understanding the role of endogenous neural stem and progenitor cells under normal physiological conditions aids in analyzing their effects after ischemic injury, including their impact on functional recovery and neurogenesis at the site of injury. Recent animal studies have utilized unique subsets of exogenous and endogenous stem cells as well as preconditioning with pharmacologic agents to better understand the best situation for stem cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. These stem cell therapies provide a promising effect on stimulation of endogenous neurogenesis, neuroprotection, anti-inflammatory effects, and improved cell survival rates. Clinical trials performed using various stem cell types show promising results to their safety and effectiveness on reducing the effects of ischemic stroke in humans. Another important aspect of stem cell therapy discussed in this review is tracking endogenous and exogenous NSCs with magnetic resonance imaging. This review explores the pathophysiology of NSCs on ischemic stroke, stem cell therapy studies and their effects on neurogenesis, the most recent clinical trials, and techniques to track and monitor the progress of endogenous and exogenous stem cells.