Cerebral Palsy and Cord Stem Cells
Brain imaging scans of cerebral palsy children show hypoperfusion, (a lack of blood flow) in various regions of the brain, including the thalamus, cerebellum and/or basal ganglia. Umbilical cord derived stem cells have the ability to help repair the entire system by
- stimulating angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels to the damaged areas,
- repairing the white matter through the production of glial cells
- repairing the grey matter through the stimulation of growth factors and direct or indirect stimulation of neurogenesis,
- dividing into new neurons once the oxygen and nutrient supply can support them,
- strengthening of muscle tissue and
- improving immune function.
Cerebral palsy is the best responder to umbilical cord stem cells. In twenty children who we have follow up information on, about 85% had mild to significant improvement within a five month follow-up period. One of the first signs of improvement is muscle tone, often followed by an increased vocabulary, socialization and improved comprehension. Cerebral palsy may respond well to cord stem cells because the cells differentiate predominantly into glial progenitors that promote white matter repair. Most of those children who have made some progress after stem cell therapy are continuing with several treatments a year. They also continue with physical, occupational and/or speech therapy.
Dr. Steenblock recommends that before children are treated with cord stem cells (or other therapies), that they be checked for heavy metal toxicity through a DMSA challenge and checked for infections and any anerobic overgrowth in the GI tract.
Since children and young adults generally respond to cord stem cells, we feel it is important that private and public sectors come together to help support regenerative centers in the U.S. for children with disabilities, regardless of their financial status. A first step to that goal is evaluating more rigorously the results of children who are being treated outside the United States. Those who would like to contribute to SRI's program for evaluating cord stem cell treatments for cerebral palsy are invited to click here.
Click here to see the research on Stem Cells and Cerebral Palsy.
This information is presented for educational purposes only.