A surgeon close to the hospital treating Michael Schumacher last week has played down reports that the treatment would have involved the F1 legend's damaged brain.
When it emerged that Schumacher would receive stem cell treatment at Paris' Hopital Europeen Georges-Pompidou, many of his fans were hopeful that it could help the 50-year-old German overcome his apparent brain injuries.
But professor Michel Puceat, who according to La Gazzetta dello Sport is a stem cell expert who is close to the team treating Schumacher, thinks the treatment is more likely to be related to the former Ferrari driver's heart.
"Without knowing the patient's clinical picture, it is difficult to offer a precise reading of the type of treatment," he said.
"But taking into account the place of hospitalisation and the person in charge of his care, it is not a question of brain treatment."
He said some experimental brain stem cell treatments have been tried in Russia, while in France and Sweden some attempts were made to limit the effect of Parkinson's disease.
"The results were interesting but only in the short term," Puceat said. "To my knowledge, there are no studies on the application of stem cells to treat brain injuries in comatose or vegetative patients.
"In those cases, the cells are irreversibly dead."
He said it is more likely that the stem cell treatment is to resolve inflammation in other organs, like the heart, or to treat osteoarthritis.
Puceat concluded: "Experiments to regenerate cardiac cells did not succeed as it was hoped."body check tags ::