Reuters, Dec 1, 2009
Cerebral palsy is a major health problem, affecting approximately 1 in 500 newborns. It is caused by damage to the brain by lack of oxygen before birth. The scientific rationale for the use of stem cells for this condition has been discussed previously in the video Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy.
In a recent news announcement, a case of a child in Singapore with cerebral palsy that was treated with their own cord blood stem cells was discussed. "It is quite a safe procedure. It is like a standard blood transfusion, except that you are using the cord blood cells that were stored. So there is no risk of a reaction, apart from perhaps minor hypersensitivity reactions, as in all blood transfusions," said Dr Keith Goh, neurosurgeon, Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
After the administration, the patient, 2-year-old Georgia Conn is reportedly calmer, with a decrease in constant crying an seizures. The parents, Michael and Louise Conn, previously stored Georgia's umbilical cord blood cells. "Within two days, Georgia was noticeably happier. Just instantly more smiley, chatty and more energetic. That was the first real indication that something was going on," said Louise Conn. "And since then we all feel, and all her therapists feel, that her muscle tone has reduced, which is enabling her to achieve a lot more within her therapy sessions," she added.
Theoretically the risks of using a patient's own cord blood stem cells are minimal since they are not manipulated, and are of the same genetic make up as the patient. However there are certain considerations, for example, "are there enough cells" to actually cause a meaningful effect? Additionally, what if the patient needs the cord blood cells later in life?
Other approaches to cord blood stem cell therapy include using cells from non-related cords, as well as expansion of the cord blood stem cells before using. The rationale for the non-related use of cord blood has been previously published (Riordan et al. Cord blood in regenerative medicine: do we need immune suppression? J Transl Med. 2007 Jan 30;5:8). Expansion of cord blood stem cells has previously been attempted by the companies Viacell and Aastrom. Although the technology is still a work in progress, some clinical trials have been performed with expanded cord blood cells in the area of hematological malignancies such as leukemias.
WSCMC's Retinopathy case Draws CNN's attention The Chinese Government Gives Top Priority to Stem Cell Research and Development The Washington Post report regarding our center and specialized stem cell treatment Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem C Good practice-Standardized procedures and analyses should help to get stem-cell therapies to the clinic Fetal-cell revival for Parkinson's A critical window into the developing human brain profiled in Nature Researchers identify how zinc regulates key enzyme involved in cell death Fundamentals of facial recognition: Specialized brain mechanisms for recognizing faces? Autism begins in pregnancy, according to study: Cortical layers disrupted during brain development in autism From mouse ears to human's? Gene therapy to address progressive hearing loss Health-care professionals should prescribe sleep to prevent, treat metabolic disorders, experts argue Excess weight at one year postpartum increases moms' risk for diabetes, heart problems New depths of complexity in nerve cells discovered Older age at onset of Type 1 diabetes associated with lower brain connectivity Stem Cell Study Opens Door to Undiscovered World of Biology Inherited Alzheimer's damage greater decades before symptoms appear Tet and TDG Mediate DNA Demethylation Essential for Mesenchymal-to-Epithelial Transition in Somatic Cell Reprogramming Sound-sensing cells regenerated in ears of mice with hearing damage Molecular cocktail transforms skin cells into beating heart cells Change in guidelines for type 2 diabetes screening tests may lead to under-diagnosis in children Help for a scarred heart: Scarring cells turned to beating muscle Nutritional supplement improves cognitive performance in older adults, study finds Scientists reprogram skin cells into insulin-producing pancreas cells Berard Lee - Optic nerve injury (Korea) Posted on December 19, 2013 Neural Prosthesis Restores Behavior After Brain Injury Researchers Test Effectiveness of Treatments for Alcoholism, Anxiety Adherence to Guidelines for Severe Traumatic Brain Injury Saves Lives Possible Biomarker for Parkinson's Disease Online Time Can Hobble Brain's Important Work