A Family Guy stroke episode has raised some red flags. It touches on the idea of stem cell therapies for stroke.
Do experimental treatments based on stem cells for stroke work and are they safe?
We simply do not know yet. There’s hope for the future, but more data are needed. I’m still hoping to do a post with an update on the science in the next month or so, but have been busy with grants and papers.
Family guy stroke episode
The animated show Family Guy weighed in on stem cells when main character Peter Griffin has a stroke that is then shown to be miraculously healed by a stem cell research facility of some kind that sure looks like a stem cell clinic.
In fact, the vague treatment of stem cells for stroke in the cartoon takes only 5 minutes we are told.
The character then asks, “why we aren’t funding this?”
It is possible that the show had good intentions in promoting stem cell research funding. However, the careless and inaccurate way it portrays stem cell treatments in general and in particular for stroke (which remain unproven and with sizable risks) is bad for the stem cell field and could put patients at risk.
Maybe the stroke Family Guy episode isn’t meant to be taken literally?