Episode 035 — Stem Cell Therapy and Stroke Recovery

'In general it's great to participate in these novel therapies as long as they're in the context of research.' -- @NeuroNirav #stroke #stemcells Click To Tweet


News and Updates

  • This week, I was featured on KING5’s Take 5 program talking about stroke in young people, this podcast, and the Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk. Check out the video below or visit
  • The Puget Sound Heart and Stroke Walk is Saturday, October 13, 2018, at the Seattle Center. Click here for more details.
  • Check out more videos and updates on The Strokecast Facebook page and “like” it to see more. You can also contribute to my American Heart Association Fundraiser there. Visit
  • Finally, I have a new personal website for assorted projects. Check out Currently Speaking at


Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke Recovery

'They screened 400 people to find 18.' -- @NeuroNirav #stroke #stemcells Click To Tweet

Ever since the news came out about the recent Stanford study that involves drilling into a patient’s skull and inserting stem cells, more and more folks can’t wait to try it out. While the results are promising, it’s still a little early in the research process to say this is safe and effective on a large scale.

This week, I welcome back Dr. Nirav H. Shah to the program to help demystify this new treatment, explain how the procedure works, and talk about the future of stem cell therapy for stroke patients.

'Do we want tissue to regenerate or do we want arteries to regenerate? The right answer is both. The best way to get there is still up for debate.' -- @NeuroNirav #stroke #stemcells Click To Tweet

A key thing to keep in mind is that we are talking about adult stem cells — not embryonic or fetal stem cells. Since these are adult stem cells, that means this has nothing to do with the ethical concerns around abortion. The stem cell being used in the trials at Stanford and the University of Miami all come from the patients themselves.

Who is Dr. Nirav H. Shah?

Dr. Nirav H.Dr. Nirav H Shah Headshot Shah a fellowship trained neurologist and sub-specialist in cerebrovascular and stroke medicine with board certifications in t: neurology, stroke medicine, carotid neurosonology, transcranial doppler ultrasound, and neuroimaging.

He is a practicing neurohospitalist and stroke medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Academically, he is interested in emergent and critical care neurology research and is an associate editor for The Neurohospitalist, a peer-reviewed journal. He enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating on publications and conference presentations.

Outside of clinical care Dr Shah is collaborating with experts to develop scalable technologies capable of ameliorating healthcare’s challenges. He consults with startups and investors to develop technologies and devices so that one day they are available to his patients. He has worked with companies to meet FDA regulations for approval as well as to help them understand the provider perspective of product-market fit.

Dr. Shah is also the CEO and Founder of Sentinel Healthcare. He is also a passionate traveler and photographer.

'We're science nerds. We watch Star Trek, Star Wars, & in general people in healthcare are really excited about the future, but we always have to ask ourselves how to not do harm first. Click To Tweet

Sentinel Healthcare Update

Geekwire recently wrote about Sentinel’s new product and quoted CEO Dr. Shah:

On Thursday, Shah’s idea took a step forward with the launch of Sentinel Healthcare, a startup he founded make this platform a reality. The company announced partnerships with five clinics in Arizona, Tennessee and Florida to implement its first product, a software that helps patients manage hypertension.

But Shah, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said Sentinel has ambitions far beyond that one condition. The startup has already taken first place at the Seattle Angel Conference and is setting itself up to be a platform for any number of health conditions that could be tracked with IoT (internet of things) devices.

You can read the rest of the article here.

Hack of the Week

Back in episode 7, I talked about how to open a beer or soda bottle with one hand. This week, I have an even better solution — the Gropener.

This unfortunately named item is a one-handed bottle opener. Put it on the lid, squeeze the neck of the bottle, and the lid pops right off. If your doctor has cleared you to drink bottled beverages, I highly recommend the Gropener.


Nirav’s previous appearance

Nirav H Shah on LinkedIn

Nirav H Shah at Swedish

Nirav on Twitter

The Neurohospitalist

Nirav’s Photography

Sentinel Healthcare

Sentinel Healthcare on Geekwire

Stanford Stem Cell Study Article

Stanford Research email

University of Miami Stem Cell Study Article

Peter Levine on Stem Cell Therapy

Gropener on Amazon

Previous Bottle Opening hack

Bill on Take 5

Strokecast on Facebook


Where do we go from here?

  • What do think of the innovations in stem cell therapy? Let us know in the comments below.
  • What else would you like to hear Dr. shah talk about? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to ask the next time we talk.
  • Visit and “like” the Strokecast page on Facebook.
  • Check out the Gropener for all your bottle opening needs.
  • Don’t get best…get better

'We're not far away at all.'-- @NeuroNirav #stroke #stemcells Click To Tweet

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