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Experimental treatment for cerebral palsy moves forward

Cerebral palsy can result from a number of factors including premature birth, lack of oxygen during delivery and infections. Whatever the cause, cerebral palsy permanently changes the lives of those afflicted as well as those that love them. A new treatment at Duke University is exploring the use of stem cell therapy to try to combat the brain damage that is at the root of cerebral palsy.

Most infants that have cerebral palsy will require a lifetime of physical therapy and other treatments. These therapies serve to mitigate the motor control, vision, communication and other symptoms of cerebral palsy. While this care is vital to improving the quality of life of those affected, they are not a cure only an attempt to reduce the symptoms. The new stem cell therapy is different in that it hopes to find ways that the underlying damage may be cured.

The study participants are split into two groups. Half will receive cord blood infusions while the other half receives a placebo. The conditions of both groups will be tracked and compared to determine whether the treatment has a positive benefit. The group that receives the placebo will have the option of receiving the same cord blood treatment at the end of the study.

Cord blood treatments are already in use for other disorders to treat certain rain disorders. If the stem cells from the cord blood do indeed serve to help the brain repair some of the damage it may result in a reduction of the often debilitating symptoms associated with the condition.

Source: WRAL News "Duke explores stem cell treatment for children with cerebral palsy" May 12, 2011

1 Comment

my son was diagnosed with brain damage at birth.he is 3 and still struggling to stand on his own.should i worry/

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