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With a proven track record in regenerative medicene, you're in safe hands
The brain requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function healthily. If the flow of blood to the brain is restricted or stopped, a stroke occurs and brain cells begin to die. There are two main types of stroke, which are categorised as 'ischemic', which account for 85% of cases, and 'haemorrhagic'. In both types, strokes can cause potentially life-changing brain injuries.
Treatments for stroke may include medication to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, and to dissolve blood clots. In some cases surgery may be required in order to relieve swelling and pressure upon the brain. The nature of treatment may vary according to the underlying cause and which part of the brain is affected.
Research into the use of stem cells to treat people who have had strokes has also shown positive results. Stem cell treatment is a relatively new discipline of regenerative medicine. Where there is an established medical need, a clinician may now prescribe stem cell therapy as a treatment within the UK, in accordance with regulation by the Human Tissue Authority.
Please Note: Whilst the clinic does offer stem cell treatments, no treatment is undertaken until the patient has been reviewed by a consultant (who is a specialist in the relevant field) and approval has been given by the specialist. Patients are informed throughout the process of the limitations of stem cell treatment and it is for the patient to make a final decision in conjunction with his or her consultant.
“Regenerative treatments are an option for people who may have already tried, or considered, conventional treatments. Research using stem cells with latest technology has shown promising results.”
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“Stem cells are located throughout the body and act as natural healers. Studies suggest that when used for medical purposes, stem cells have the potential to accelerate tissue repair, stimulate tissue regeneration, and decrease inflammation.”
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Ischaemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood and oxygen in the brain. These usually form in areas where the arteries have narrowed over time in a process known as atherosclerosis. The main cause of haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure, which can weaken the arteries. Strokes can kill many millions of neurons and trigger a strong inflammatory response from the immune system. Some patients also experience a type of mini-stoke known as a transient ischemic attack. These are less serious but nonetheless require urgent attention.
Stem cells are of interest because they are known to have the ability to become different types of cells, including brain cells. They also play a vital role in regulating the immune system. A clinical trial carried out by the Stanford University School of Medicine found participants demonstrated improved motor function and an average increase of 11.4 points on the Fugi-Meyer Assessment, an impairment test specifically for stroke sufferers.
Strokes may require a person to real-learn the normal skills they need in order to live independently. This is due huge toll a stroke takes our brain cells. For example, research has shown that the average patient loses 1.9 million neurons for every minute that an ischemic stroke is left untreated, as well as 13.8 billion synapses (the structures via which nerve cells communicate).
Around 150,000 people experience a stroke every year in the UK and around half of those who survive are left with some form of disability. However, research suggests that stem cells may be able to help repair long-term stroke damage due to their neuro-regenerative properties. Stem cells are also believed to regulate immune responses that can cause lesions on the brain.
A study published in 2016 found stem cells were beneficial to chronic stroke victims. Participants demonstrated substantial recovery long after the event, when injected with modified adult stem cells. For some patients this represented "a clinical improvement in the power of upper and lower limbs, ranging from an improvement in the ability to stand to the disappearance of tremor." Further studies and trials are underway in several countries.
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
Stem cells are special types of cell that occur naturally within the body. They have the ability to replicate themselves or develop into different types of cells through a process known as differentiation.
Hence stem cells have the potential to become new cells in order to perform specific functions. For example, they can differentiate to become blood cells or other types of cell that are active within the immune system. This process enables stem cells not only to play a unique role in the body's ability to heal itself, but also to encourage the growth of healthy tissue.
HOW ARE STEM CELLS USED IN MEDICINE?
Whist stem cell therapy is relatively new, stem cells have been the subject of over 40 years of research and there have been a large number of clinical trails. A limited number of treatments for certain medical conditions are now available in the UK.
When used for medical purposes, research suggests stem cells can accelerate tissue repair, stimulate tissue regeneration, decrease inflammation, and stimulate new blood vessel growth.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE THERE FOR A STROKE?
Patients who experience a stroke require treatment from a neurologist in order to avoid further complications and enjoy the best prospect of recovery.
In the first instance, this may involve emergency treatment such as a thrombectomy, or other surgery to relieve pressure on the brain. Longer-term rehabilitation may require specialist care by physiotherapists, psychologists, and speech therapists.
Stem cell-based therapies that are in development also offer promise because of their potential to provide neuro-restorative benefits. A study published in 2019 stated: "Stem cell therapies may yield new treatments for stroke which can improve neurological recovery."
CAN I HAVE STEM CELL THERAPY?
Stem cell therapy may be considered for people who require an alternative approach to established procedures. It may be suitable for patients aged 18 to 75 or children in special circumstances, whose condition is stable enough to undergo treatment.
The first stage is to book a consultation with a qualified medical practitioner, who will assess your medical history in order to potentially make a pre-approval application. A multi-disciplinary panel of experts will then consider your application.
If you application is approved, you will then be invited undergo a full health screening and detailed tests to ensure stem cell treatment is an appropriate approach for you. Provided you pass the assessment criteria, you may then begin treatment.
WHAT DOES TREATMENT INVOLVE?
Patients generally require a preparation period that may involve a number of procedures to ensure your regenerative system is at its most receptive. The stem cells can typically then be injected into the body, which depending on the nature of your condition can either be done intravenously or by intra-tissue injection; or a combination of both.
WHERE DO THE STEM CELLS COME FROM?
The stem cells may be either 'autologous' or 'allogeneic' and are contained in a prescription created by a regulated medical supplier. Autologous stem cells are processed after being harvested from tissue within the patient's own body, whereas allogeneic stem cells are cultured in a laboratory from a donated source. The prescription is then transferred into the patient.
HOW ARE STEM CELLS REGULATED?
Stem cell therapies are classed as nouvelle treatments or 'specials', which are a permissible category of medicines that are available to meet the clinical needs of an individual patient.
We work with LifePlus Stem Cells, who are regulated to sell and market pure stem cells products as an unlicensed medicine in accordance with quality and safety standards under its own HTA and MHRA licences (The Human Tissue Act 2004 and associated regulation/The Human Tissue (Quality and Safety for Human Application) Regulations 2007 (as amended).
The progress of stem cell patients is carefully monitored and we have a regulatory duty to report any relevant findings to the Royal Free Hospital in London, with a view to stem cell therapy becoming a standardised licensed treatment.
The Cellular & Regenerative practice in Harley Street was co-founded by Dr Aamer Khan, author of the forthcoming book, 'Aesthetic Treatments in Regenerative Medicine: Stem Cells, Stromal Vascular Fraction, Platelet Rich Plasma, and Platelet Rich Fibrin.'
Qualifying as a doctor at the University of Birmingham in 1986 with an MB ChB (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), Dr Khan completed his postgraduate training in University Hospitals Birmingham. He spent 24 years working within the NHS, including many years in General Practice. In 2010, he retired from the NHS to refine protocols at the Harley Street Skin Clinic.
Dr Mike Tees MB, BChir, BSc (Hons), DLO, DRCOG, MRCGP, is a Cambridge medical grad and has racked up over 25 years of experience in the medical profession. Dr Tee is well regarded as an expert in Dermal Fillers, PRP, Thread Lifts, Mole Removal & dermatological minor surgery.
1 - Clinical Outcomes of Transplanted Modified Bone Marrow–Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Stroke
2 - Time is Brain: Quantified
3 - Stanford: Stem cells for chronic stroke victims
4 - Efficacy of stem cell-based therapies for stroke
NHS: Stroke Overview
LifePlus Stem Cells: Clinical Evidence & Research Papers
LifePlus Stem Cells: FAGs from Doctors and Patients
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Every step of your journey with Harley Street Skin is handled with the utmost care and diligence. From your very first consultation, right the way through to follow up and aftercare, Harley Street Skin will guide, advise and support you at every given opportunity. We want to make sure that your time with us is as special to you, as you are to us...
The answer to some of the most common questions you may have
It's only natural to have questions if you are considering pursuing a treatment for the first time, and at Harley Street Skin, it's important to us that you feel confident and comfortable at every stage of your journey. To help you find the answers you need, here are a few of the more common quibbles that we find our clients frequently ask...
There are two main causes of strokes: either a blocked artery (an 'ischaemic stroke') or leaking/bursting of a blood vessel (a 'haemorrhagic stroke').
Some other may simply experience a temporary disruption of blood flow to the brain, which is referred to as a 'transient ischaemic attack', that does not cause any lasting symptoms.
The main cause of haemorrhagic stroke is high blood pressure, which can weaken the brain’s arteries and increase the likelihood that they will go on to split or rupture. Ischaemic strokes, on the other hand, happen when a blood clot forms and blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. These usually form in areas where the arteries have narrowed or become blocked over time in a process known as atherosclerosis.
Clinical trials using stem cells have shown that, combined with clot busting and thrombectomy, recovery can be significantly sped up.
Stem cells injected directly to the affected area, or into arteries elsewhere in the body, travel to the brain to fuel and accelerate the necessary repair process.
It works as the stem cells differentiate into different brain cell types and thus replace the damaged tissue and lost cells during and after the stroke incident itself.
Stem cells also work to regulate many inflammatory and immune responses which can cause lesions on the brain, thus reducing the size of these lesions and helping to prevent cell death at the same time.
Internal repair begins straight away with stem cells best injected between 36 and 72 hours after the stroke incident has taken place.
The effects of treatment are long-term as continual treatment brings about regenerative benefits which can remain with the patient indefinitely.
Trials have shown significant improvements in arm and leg function over a 12 month period after the stem cell transplant. This is promising as research tells us there is a real need to reduce the neurological deficit caused by a stroke in the subsequent years.
Stem cells can be harvested from adipose cells (fat), bone marrow, or umbilical lining (embryonic stem cells).
Some people prefer to use their own adult stem cells for treatment, while others will opt for embryonic stem cells due to their significantly higher potential for regrowth and repair.
Embryonic stem cells are harvested soon after birth in a regulated lab and are always screened for infection, genetic abnormality and disease.
Otherwise neural stem cells can be sourced from an adult donor, as these also have the ability to differentiate into three major central nervous system cell types: neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.
The award winning clinic dedicated to helping you be your best self
We understand that deciding to go forward with cosmetic treatment can feel like a huge decision. One that we certainly wouldn't expect you to go ahead with without hearing a little bit about us first. Here is exactly why people around the world are happy to put their trust into Harley Street Skin Clinic.
Since 2004, Harley Street Skin has been on speed dial to some of the world's highest flyers thanks to the expertise of cosmetic tour de force, Dr. Aamer Khan and wife Lesley Reynolds.
With their flagship clinic based on the world’s most famous medical strip, Harley Street Skin quickly became a medical and cosmetic frontrunner, drumming up a pristine professional reputation and impressive roster of celebrity clientele. The clinic was in fact so thriving that it gained the attention of television network SkyOne, becoming the focus of hit documentary series Stitch Me, Lift Me, Tuck Me.
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Carefully formulating the perfect regime for even the most stubborn and unusual of skin complaints, Harley Street Skin boast an acclaimed skin care range frequently making an appearance in beauty mag must-haves, health and lifestyle columns, and celebrity handbags around the world.
With highly skilled practitioners, doctors and surgeons on hand at every turn, Harley Street Skin can help you attain the aesthetic you've been dreaming of - whatever your cosmetology needs.