The first of it's kind clinical trial using stem cell therapy for traumatic brain injury is getting underway at ProMedica in Toledo. It's called the "Gordie Howe Initiative". This is a 3 year clinical trial that will recruit 24 patients with traumatic brain injuries to undergo stem cell infusions. The stem cells come from healthy adult bone marrow donors. The stem cells have been shown in previous studies to reactive damaged brain nerve cells and allow them to heal,
Hockey legend Gordie Howe underwent the stem cell therapy two years ago after suffering a nearly life ending stroke. His son local radiologist Dr. Murray Howe says his father literally went from being bedridden to getting up and walking and talking within 8 hours of having the first infusion. The senior Howe has since undergone a second infusion, and continues to do well at 88-years old.
Recruitment for the study will happen over the summer with the clinical trials starting in the fall. Results are expected next year.