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New treatment for Stroke at La Trobe University

What is the second leading cause of death and disability globally? Diabetes? Cardiac arrest? Accidents? The answer is a stroke. What is stroke then?

.. but before that these figures tell you the story.

• Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
• A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
• Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke.
• Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
• Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

Brain cells are not easily regenerated, so when they die, the patient loses some function or the other and develops a disability, be that in speech, motion or vision. When a huge section of the brain dies, the patient dies too.

So to prevent this loss of life or function, quick and effective treatment is necessary and this has been the focus of biomedical research at La Trobe University in Australia.

According to the researchers, the current treatments like the use of medication is not enough for most people. In a world-first, La Trobe used stem cells (cells within our bodies capable of differentiating into any type of cells—skin, brain or heart) to treat stroke patients. The research found that use of a certain type of stem cells, called amniotic stem cells improves the disability resulting from stroke and is safe and free from post-treatment complications. Patients have shown moderate improvements in walking, speaking and memory. However, more research is needed to make the treatment more effective.

This is just one example of world-class research taking place at La Trobe University. La Trobe University is located in Melbourne—world’s second-most liveable city. It ranks among the top 350 universities in the world and is 56th best young university globally (Times Higher Education Rankings 2019). Most of the programmes offered by the university are accredited and industry-relevant. The university also offers generous scholarships to meritorious students.

Some of the courses you could study there are:
Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Administration
Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Master of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

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