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New Research Aimed at Stem-Cell Based Therapies May Help Those Living with Cerebral Palsy

Published on Jul 23, 2012 at 7:57 am in Cerebral Palsy.

Kentucky Birth Injury Cerebral PalsyA new clinical trial being conducted at the Georgia Health Sciences University is exploring new stem-cell based therapies to treat the neurological impairments associated with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by a brain injury before birth or during the first few years of life, and the condition can impair hearing, movement, vision, and cognitive skills.

Presently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy and no standard therapy that works for all patients. The new, innovative research may mean good news for the approximately 2 million Americans who currently live with this condition.

The study aims to determine whether an infusion of stem cells from a child’s own umbilical cord blood can improve the quality of life in children with cerebral palsy. The study will include 40 children, ages two to 12, whose parents have stored their child’s cord blood with the Cord Blood registry. The lead investigator of the clinical trial, who is a pediatric neurologist, hopes that the stem cells “might serve as some type of replacement for cells in the nervous system that have been destroyed or never developed properly.”

The lead investigator also states that the outcome of both preclinical research and anecdotal evidence in patients has made umbilical cord blood an “intriguing source of stem cells” for researchers to explore and pursue. In addition, using a child’s own cord blood has provided a safe place and safe way to see if the stem cells can assist in recovery from brain injury, similar to animal experiments that have shown adult stem cells have aided in brain injury recovery.

Cerebral palsy has a number of causes; however, as a large number of cerebral palsy cases are preventable, mistakes made by a physician or healthcare professional can contribute to a child getting this lifelong condition. Kentucky cerebral palsy attorney Tad Thomas is committed to helping families obtain the compensation they need to best care for their child when medical negligence was the cause of the child’s cerebral palsy.