Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

Where is Research Headed?

As of today, research primarily focuses on testing the stem cells of animals that have a brain injury. They have the goal to treat this injury to develop newer and better forms of treatment for this birth injury. This research has primarily been conducted by scientists, doctors, clinicians and researchers who have an interest in finding a cure for this debilitating disease. One of the problems comes from how the animal brain differs from the human brain, so they have to learn how to get around some of these intricacies.

What Stem Cells Do They Use for Treatment?

There are different types of stem cells that are being investigated for use in patients with cerebral palsy. These cells include:

  • Umbilical cord stem cells
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Neural  stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MCS)
  • Allogeneic stem cells

With each type of stem cell, comes advantages and disadvantages. Researchers believe that umbilical cord stem cells could be an excellent choice for this because of the method that these stems are harvested and donated. In addition, it usually goes through a rigorous screening process to check for bacteria and viruses that can be extraordinarily damaging to a vulnerable child with a birth disorder.

What if the Patient Rejects the Stem Cell?

In some cases, the patient’s body doesn’t recognize the umbilical cord stem cells, or you have to administer it thousands of times for it to be effective. Still, doctors have not found a single instance where the body rejected the stem cells. In fact,  allogeneic stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells are used because they have found this type to be especially potent.

Can a Person Get Involved in This Form of Treatment?

Public treatment options haven’t yet become available, but you have many ongoing clinical trials that have become available. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life for children with CP.

Living with a birth disorder like CP can be disheartening, but you do not have to let it become a disability. You can participate in one of these clinical trials by asking for assistance from a doctor.  You can also do your own research.  If one doctor is not familiar with any possible clinical trials, you can always check for others because these treatments tend to be highly valuable to the general population.

Editor

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Expert

Elena Amato Borrelli, Expert

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Article Citations

  1. Cerebral Pasly: How Could Stem Cell Help?, EuroStemCell