Stem Cells & Stroke Survivors

Stem Cells and Stroke

Stem Cells and Stroke


During the past twenty years Dr. David Steenblock has treated over 2000 stroke patients using daily hyperbaric oxygen and other leading edge treatments. As-a-result he has learned a great deal about what it takes to help stroke patients get the most improvement possible, even 10 years or more after their stroke. In addition and perhaps most exciting of all is the fact Dr. Steenblock and his medical team have incorporated the use of various types of stem cells in combination with the highly successful stroke & brain repair treatments he began pioneering back in 1991.  Dr. Steenblock has, in fact, developed a new method of flooding the stroke patient with millions of their own stem cells daily over a one, two or three week period of time.  The use of such large numbers is the outgrowth of something Dr. Steenblock observed which can be boiled down to this: When it comes to the SUCCESSFUL clinical use of stem cells it is vital to obtain and use the greatest number of healthy, robust stem cells possible; and to give these cells for not just days but weeks while simultaneously doing everything possible to get the cells into the areas of the brain previously damaged by the stroke.

For patients who are able to get to Dr. Steenblock within two weeks of their stroke, two bone marrow treatments can produce a dramatic improvement when combined with the daily use of hyperbaric oxygen, external counterpulsation, pulsed electromagnetic therapy to the back of the head (which increases blood flow to the upper parts of the brain), brain growth factors, nutritional iv’s, and periodic acceleration therapy. These work in tandem to help move stem cells into the damaged parts of the patient’s brain and bolster the growth and activity of stem cells in the damaged tissues so repair can start immediately. Dr. Steenblock recommends that both acute & chronic stroke patients spend a minimum of TWO TO THREE weeks and preferably six weeks doing therapy in order to increase their odds of reaping maximum results.

Dr. Steenblock notes that “This combination of synergist therapies is remarkably good when used soon after a stroke since the blood brain barrier is still damaged and open which makes it easy for stem cells to migrate into damaged areas of the brain. At the same time this is going on hyperbaric oxygen is used to help remove the swelling which also bolsters the ability of stem cells to get into the brain.”

As you might expect the brain begins to heal the disrupted blood-brain-barrier two to three weeks after a stroke. This reestablishes this natural barrier between the brain and the lower part of the body; something that stem cells have to burrow their way through in order to reach damaged tissues. Dr. Steenblock and others have found that the younger and more vigorous the stem cells are, the greater the penetration through this barrier and the better the clinical outcome. Unfortunately most people who have a stroke are older individuals whose stem cells need some “rejuvenation” in order to be able to penetrate the re-established blood-brain-barrier.

Dr. Steenblock has found that in persons over age forty (40) bone marrow stem cells are “lazy” and not very good at moving through the re-established blood-brain-barrier compared to the stem cells of a younger person. These old, lazy or devitalized bone marrow stem cells can be removed from the bone marrow by moving them out into the blood stream using an FDA approved stem cell mobilizing drug called “Neupogen” (Filgrastim.)  Dr. Steenblock has established that the use of Neupogen for at least five consecutive days will mobilize lazy stem cells into the blood stream leaving behind stem cells that have not previously been as active. The act of getting rid of these devitalized stem cells prods the inactive ones to “come to life” and begin to multiply very rapidly; so much so that in two weeks time the bone marrow is filled to the brim with up to ten (10) times more healthy and vigorous stem cells than was true before. This, of course, helps better insure optimal results!

In addition to the use of Neupogen, an older method of opening up the blood-brain-barrier to allow the stem cells into the damaged stroke tissue is also employed: The intravenous use of the FDA approved drug mannitol at least one hour prior to giving stem cell-rich bone marrow. Mannitol is a simple sugar that opens the blood-brain-barrier and keeps it open for a few hours afterwards.  Following administration of mannitol, Dr. Steenblock takes bone marrow from the patient’s hip or leg bone using a local anesthetic (and if needed other pain medications so little to no pain is felt) and then immediately and directly infuses this into the blood stream (which then carries the stem cells through the opened blood-brain-barrier into the damaged brain tissues.)  During such a treatment 100 to 1000 million stem cells are injected into the blood stream. Ideally, this treatment is repeated once or twice each week for two weeks during which time Neupogen is also given daily to move more of these fresh, vital, active stem cells into the patient’s circulation on a continuous basis. Neupogen also prods those vital, active stem cells left behind – that is, those that do not get mobilized into the patient’s circulation — to multiply and grow to a degree that is not seen when it (Neupogen) is not used.  The two week program thus consists of:

1) Two bone marrow treatments are given each week (Whether the patient does a one, two, three or six week program.)

2) Brain derived growth factors, human growth hormone, and stem cell activating agents are given daily five days a week to “ACTIVATE” the stem cells, i.e., make them much more aggressive in terms of getting them to migrate into the brain to fix damaged tissues. These agents also stimulate the growth and multiplication of the stem cells both in the blood and the brain.

3) In addition the patient receives daily hyperbaric oxygen, external counterpulsation, intravenous therapies and functional electric stimulation. Periodic acceleration therapy (PAT) may be used instead of External Counterpulsation (ECP) if the patient cannot tolerate or undergo ECP. Both ECP and PAT stimulate the production of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and adenosine, both of which enhance the growth and vigor of circulating stem cells, and promote their migration into damaged brain tissues. These powerful therapeutic agents also stimulate the formation of new blood vessels in the stroke damaged brain. These newly forming capillaries, in turn, bring more blood to these tissues which helps restore normal functioning. Some results are expected to be noticeable while the patient is being treated at the clinic though most results take anywhere from three to six months to be manifest.



Support for using HBOT to treat stroke

Dr. Steenblock’s Clinic Study – Stroke Patient Responses (50 patients treated with HBOT, Physical Therapy & Biofeedback)



Support for using stem cells for acute & chronic stroke

Bone Marrow Stromal Stem Cells May Aid in Stroke Recovery (Science Daily December 1, 2010)

A research study from the Farber Institute for Neurosciences and the Department of Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University determines bone marrow stromal stem cells may aid in stroke recovery. The results can be found in Cell Transplantation — The Regenerative Medicine Journal.

The study examining the effects of a systematic administration of either rat (allogenic) or human (xenogenic) bone marrow stem cells (MSC) administered to laboratory rats one day after their simulated strokes found “significant recovery” of motor behavior on the first day. Early administration was found to be more effective than administration seven days after the simulated strokes.

Human umbilical cord stem cells can reduce infarct size and improve function in a rat model for stroke.

Advantages of human cord blood cells in CNS injuries and disorders

Greater long term improvement with intravenous delivery to the femoral vein

Cord blood cells improve recovery in rat models for stroke

Mesenchymal cells may be beneficial to stroke recovery

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells and Stroke Treatment (Steenblock Research Institute)

ASA: Fat Stem Cells Repair Stroke Damage in Rats

Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells markedly attenuate brain infarct size and improve neurological function in rats

Comparison of mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue and bone marrow for ischemic stroke therapy. Ikegame Y, Yamashita K, Hayashi S, Mizuno H, Tawada M, You F, Yamada K, Tanaka Y, Egashira Y, Nakashima S, Yoshimura S, Iwama T. Cytotherapy. 2011 Jul;13(6):675-85. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Functional recovery after hematic administration of allogenic mesenchymal stem cells in acute ischemic stroke in rats. Gutierrez-Fernandez M, Rodriguez-Frutos B, Alvarez-Grech J, Vallejo-Cremades MT, Exposito-Alcaide M, Merino J, Roda JM, Diez-Tejedor E. Neuroscience. 2011 Feb 23;175:394-405. Epub 2010 Dec 7.


Intravenous Stem Cells after Ischemic Stroke (ISIS) – Clinical study recruiting

Autologous Bone Marrow Stem Cells in Middle Cerebral Artery Acute Stroke Treatment – Clinical study recruiting


PATIENT VIDEOS (Dr. Steenblock’s Clinic):

Joe Beschen tells his story of coming back for a major stroke thanks to Dr. Steenblock and HBOT, etc.



The Dale Hartley Story: A Stroke Ten Years Ago I’m Still Here!


Dale Hartley suffered a stroke ten and a half years ago. Dale had heard about Dr. Steenblock’s program on the radio. He was as thrilled then as today that Dr. Steenblock had something more to offer than conventional medicine. He and his wife Audrey came to Dr. Steenblock’s clinic to undergo the stroke program. When Dale arrived at the clinic he began the full program of chelation and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and as he tells it, “my sister had a stroke three years after me; she didn’t come to Dr. Steenblock. Unfortunately, she’s gone- I’m still here.”

Like many who suffer a massive stroke, with such an insult to the brain, to just “still be here” is a miracle in itself. But Dale and his wife Audrey wanted more. They did their research and concluded they wanted to try umbilical cord stem cells in Mexico.

About two and a half years ago Dale had umbilical cord stem cells. He believes they made him stronger.

Then recently, he and Audrey learned about Dr. Steenblock’s Personalized Regenerative Medicine and the use of your own bone marrow stem cells. They excitedly packed up their precious little Bianca, and made the drive down from Malibu (where they live) to have this procedure done. Audrey had it done as well.

With a big bright smile, Dale will tell you that after having the bone marrow stem cells the first time his eyesight improved, and both of his knees (which hadn’t been “working” he said), were back to “almost normal.” In addition, his hip joint was back to normal, and he believes he has better balance when walking.

Audrey says that her knee problems (the meniscus) were getting signs of arthritis, and she also wanted to make sure she didn’t lose the strength of her grip to arthritis. She has noticed after her bone marrow stem cells that her constant sinus drip was nearly gone.

Both Dale and Audrey did bone marrow stem cells twice, six weeks apart. Both report a resounding success, and when asked if they’d do it again, they’ll tell you, “Absolutely!”

If you are interested in learning more about this treatment approach you can get a FREE stem cell consultation by calling 1-800-300-1063 or by e-mailing