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Study Suggests Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Safe to Transfer to Sibling with Cerebral Palsy

Study Suggests Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Safe to Transfer to Sibling with Cerebral Palsy

Stem cells have been studied for a long time, due to their potential to treat or prevent injuries and certain medical conditions. Researchers have studied these “master cells” with enthusiasm, due to their ability to generate new types of cells with special purposes. People with spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and other conditions may benefit from stem cell therapies because of the cells’ ability to potentially repair, restore, or regenerate healthy cells.

A new study out of Australia suggests that stem cells from an infant’s umbilical cord may be safely transferred to a sibling who has cerebral palsy. These stem cells may help the recipient’s body heal his or her brain injuries that led to the motor condition. Because of a stem cell’s ability to act almost like a chameleon—changing its cell type to a brain cell, muscle cell, nerve cell, etc—scientists think that stem cells may potentially help the body repair and regenerate damaged brain cells.

The Australian researchers in this new study monitored 12 participants, ages 1-16 years old, who received an infusion of a sibling’s cord blood cells. The participants were monitored for 12 months after the transfer. The researchers found that while most participants’ developmental progress was typical for children with cerebral palsy, the greatest motor skill improvements were seen in the younger participants, suggesting that early intervention may be more effective. Additional trials are being planned to better understand these findings.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is the most common childhood motor disability condition, according to the CDC. A child may be diagnosed with cerebral palsy following brain damage sustained at birth. The condition impacts the body’s ability to control movement and posture, and may be caused by medical negligence at birth. While cerebral palsy is a permanent condition, certain therapies and treatments may help manage its symptoms.

Call Grant & Eisenhofer’s Birth Injury Attorneys Today

If you suspect that you or your child suffered injuries due to medical negligence before, during or after labor and delivery, consider discussing your situation with our birth injury lawyers. Our firm handles many types of birth injury cases.

Call us at (877) 262-9767 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We represent families nationwide and have offices in Chicago IL, Baltimore MD, New York NY, and Wilmington DE.