The central nervous system has limited capacity for regeneration after acute and chronic injury. An attractive approach to stimulate neural plasticity in the brain is to transplant stem cells in order to restore function. Here, we discuss potential mechanisms of action, current knowledge and future perspectives of clinical stem cell research for stroke and traumatic brain injury.Preclinical data using various models suggest stem cell therapy to be a promising therapeutic avenue. Progress has been made in elucidating the mechanism of action of various cell types used, shifting the hypothesis from neural replacement to enhancing endogenous repair processes. Translation of these findings in clinical trials is currently being pursued with emphasis on both safety as well as efficacy.Clinical trials are currently recruiting patients in phase I and II trials to gain more insight in the therapeutic potential of stem cells in acute cerebral injury. A close interplay between results of these clinical trials and more extensive basic research is essential for future trial design, choosing the optimal transplantation strategy and selecting the right patients.
View details for DOI 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000023
View details for Web of Science ID 000327554300004
View details for PubMedID 24136128