Authors: Sharon Salt, Editor
Steven C Cramer is a neurologist specializing in stroke. He is also a Professor of Neurology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the University of California Irvine (CA, USA). In addition to this, Steven is also Co-Principal Investigator of the NIH Stroke Clinical Trials Network.
In this interview, Steven speaks to us about what the most significant advancements have been in regenerative stroke therapies. In addition to this, he also discusses what the key challenges in bringing regenerative stroke therapies to the clinic are, as well as what future developments he’s most excited about.
1.What inspired you to work in the field of regenerative medicine in relation to stroke neurology?
There are really two sides to this. On the one hand, I’ve always been fascinated by brain remodeling and brain plasticity, including how the brain works in creating new motor skills. I think many people, such as clinical neuroscientists, are fascinated with brain plasticity. If you combine this with my interest in stroke, then what fascinated me the most beyond interrupting acute injury was, what could we do with the injured brain to try and get people back on their feet? These different flavors of interests converged on a career dedicated to clinical neuroplasticity, especially after stroke.
2.In your opinion, what has been the most significant advancement in regenerative medicine for stroke in the past decade?
This is twofold. If I were to give one lead answer, then we’re really seeing a convergence of evidence that when we introduce a restorative therapy with a delay after injury, we see biological fostering of restorative events. There really is a growing and converging body of evidence that there are effective therapies that work by rebuilding the brain; separate from efforts to interrupt the initial cascade of injury.