Treating Cerebral Palsy with Umbilical Cord Blood (1)

Treating Cerebral Palsy with Umbilical Cord Blood

This story is about Georgia Conn

 

When Mr and Mrs. Conn realised that their daughter Georgia was struggling to see or play like other children, they got her diagnosed immediately. There are numerous families like the Conn Family who have children suffering from cerebral palsy in their house. The parents may notice their children are failing to reach their age-wise developmental milestones like rolling over, crawling or walking. But, by the time they start looking for safe treatment options, it is already very late.

So, what is Cerebral Palsy?

According to Can Child, “Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term used to describe a disorder that results from perinatal brain injury.” [2] This kind of brain injury arising out of the hindrance in foetal development or due to compromised oxygen supply at the time of birth are known to be some of the primary reasons for developing such a condition, like cerebral palsy. Babies suffering from this condition have problem in moving, communicating and learning.

The type and severity of cerebral palsy symptoms depends largely on the depth of the brain injury and may vary from person to person. While some children in this condition may need life-long care, others may manage living their lives with mild disabilities and minimal support.

Is there a cure available for Cerebral Palsy?  

Unfortunately; till now there has been no specific cure found for cerebral palsy. But, with early intervention and a combination of right therapy like exercise, speech therapy, etc. and medication, the outlook of these children can be significantly improved. The good news is, with the advent of regenerative medicine, treating Cerebral Palsy with umbilical cord blood stem cell therapy has shown a promising outcome in several cases. [4]

Why Umbilical Cord Blood is a Hope?

Umbilical cord blood is a rich source of haematopoietic stem cells which have the capability to renew and differentiate into different types of blood cells – Red blood cells (RBC), White blood cells (WBC) and Platelets. In case of children with Cerebral palsy, the brain imaging scans have shown lack of blood flow in the various regions of the brain leading to damage. In order to address this defect, the ability of umbilical cord blood to renew and repair these damaged parts has been taken into consideration in numerous clinical trials that are going around the world.

Cordlife Group has released 19 cord blood samples and 3 cord tissue samples to treat cerebral palsy. Several clinical trials going on across the world, have considered various parameters and published that the cord blood treatment is not only safe for treatment children with cerebral palsy but has also shown positive improvements by addressing the core damage and leading to subsequent results in symptoms.

  • Develops New Blood Vessels [6]: The deficiency of oxygen may damage the blood vessels, thus cutting off the blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. This results in significant death of the brain cells and impact the respective activities controlled by the damaged region of the brain. Cord blood known to have Hematopoietic stem cells has the ability to develop new blood cells and developing of new blood vessels will help in the blood flow and oxygen supply, thus repairing and enabling gradual improvement in function of the child.
  • Repairs the White matter [7]: Any damage in the white matter of the brain, which controls the voluntary actions, may lead to under-developed gross motor skills. In this case, early intervention with umbilical cord blood with neuroprotective properties helps restore the white matter.
  • Repairs the Grey Matter [8]: An injury to the grey matter, essentially cuts off or limits communication between the areas of grey matter of the brain, involved in muscle control, and sensory perception. Due to which a child may not be able to see or speak properly. Infusion of cord blood with its regenerative properties may help in repairing the grey matter and thus enabling the child to initiate its functions.
  • Strengthens the muscles[10]: Damage to the brain may also impact the function of the muscles thus negatively impacting the control on balance, movement and co-ordination in the child. With the infusion of umbilical cord blood, the activities of muscles are stimulated and improved
  • Improves the Immune Function [11]: The infusion of the umbilical cord blood has also been found to have improved the immune function.

Marked improvements observed after the Stem Cell Therapy within 6 months to 1 year [12-15]

  • GROSS MOTOR FUNCTION
  • IMPROVED EFFECTIVE USE OF THE AFFECTED HAND
  • POSITIVE CHANGE IN NUMBER OF CONNECTIONS IN THE BRAIN
  • POSITIVE IMPROVEMENT IN DEVELOPMENTAL FUNCTIONING OF INFANTS AND TODDLERS
  • POSITIVE CHANGE IN MUSCLE STRENGTH
  • POSITIVE INCREASE IN COGNITIVE ABILITY
  • OTHER CHANGES:

General behavior
Parental Impact-Emotional
Temperament and Moods

 

Researches on umbilical cord blood stem cells being used to combat disorders like cerebral palsy are   gaining momentum across the globe. Therefore, banking the baby’s umbilical cord at birth is being considered by many parents as a responsible step towards securing the baby’s health and future. Umbilical Cord Blood is collected immediately after a baby is delivered. Once the baby is separated from the mother, the cord is clamped and the blood along with the cord tissue is collected and transported to the laboratory for further processing and cryopreservation.

 

Reference links:
1. cordlifeindia.com/success-stories
2. canchild[dot]ca/en/resources/276-current-state-of-stem-cell-treatments-for-cerebral-palsy-a-guide-for-patients-families-and-service-providers#:~:text=Stem%20cell%20transplantation%20is%20a,the%20remaining%20neurons%20and%20oligodendrocytes.
3: kidshealth[dot]org/en/parents/cerebral-palsy.html
4,5. cerebralpalsygroup[dot]com/cerebral-palsy/
6. intechopen[dot]com/books/umbilical-cord-blood-banking-for-clinical-application-and-regenerative-medi cine/umbilical-cord-blood-cells-for-perinatal-brain-injury-the-right-cells-at-the-right-time-
7: karger[dot]com/Article/FullText/490943
8,9. hydroassoc[dot]org/whats-the-matter/
10. aabme.asme[dot]org/posts/stem-cells-heal-damaged-muscle-doing-what-surgery-can-t#:~:text=Rather%20than%20implanting%20tissue%2C%20the,called%20a%20muscle%20satellite%20cell.
11:stemcellsportal[dot]com/aggregator/cirm%20viacyte%20diabetes%20clinical%20trial?page=204
12. Xie B et.al. Therapeutic effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells transplantation on hypoxic ischemicencephalopathy. Am J Transl Res. 2016 Jul 15;8(7):3241-50.
13. Huang L et.al. A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Human Umbilical Cord Blood Mesenchymal Stem Cell Infusion for Children With Cerebral Palsy. Cell Transplant. 2018 Feb;27(2):325-334.
14. Allogenic Umbilical Cord Blood and Erythropoietin Combination Therapy for Cerebral Palsy (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01193660)
15. A Randomized Study of Autologous Umbilical Cord Blood Reinfusion in Children With Cerebral Palsy (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01147653)

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