Stem cells and stroke: are we further away than anyone is willing to admit?


  • Sean I. Savitz

  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

Correspondence: Sean I. Savitz, Department of Neurology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, 6431 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



Harnessing the potential of stem cells or other types of cell therapies to regenerate brain tissue lost from a stroke is a long way off, and a far more complicated process than is understood. There are critical safety issues regarding stem cells in stroke and many clinical trials have only just begun. We are at least 5–10 years away from knowing if cell therapies will improve clinical outcome in stroke patients. The use of stem cells in stroke therapy remains investigational only.