Can Stem Cells Cure Cerebral Palsy?

In this post, we cover the results from new clinical trials attempting to treat Cerebral Palsy using stem cells called Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells (or BMMC). While there is currently no cure for Cerebral Palsy, treating Cerebral Palsy with stem cells has shown promise in early clinical trials.

This information was compiled from medical journals and experts who study Cerebral Palsy and stem cells.

Read more to find out more about how researchers hope to treat Cerebral Palsy in the future using stem cells.

Stem Cell Treatment

Cerebral Palsy Primer

Cerebral Palsy is a permanent, non-progressive (meaning it does not get worse over time) category of muscle and movement disorders. Cerebral Palsy may range from mild to severe symptoms, and often occurs alongside other impairments or disabilities. 

Children with Cerebral Palsy may have difficulty controlling their muscles, their balance, their coordination, their mobility, and their posture. While Cerebral Palsy cannot yet be cured, scientists and doctors are continually exploring new and promising treatment methods. 

One innovative approach to treating Cerebral Palsy involves regenerative therapy using stem cells. In a recent study,  researchers used Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells (BMMC) to treat patients for Cerebral Palsy in hopes of regenerating areas of the brain thought to cause Cerebral Palsy.

Treating Cerebral Palsy with Stem Cells

Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells (BMMC) are a kind of stem cells being studied for their potential treatment applications in Cerebral Palsy cases. Unlike more controversial types of stem cells, BMMCs are harvested from the bone marrow of adult donors. 

BMMCs have been observed to have regenerative properties. Researchers believe these stem cells can generate neurons, help repair damaged tissue, and combat neurodegenerative process, fibrosis, and oxidative insults. In other words, researchers believe these stem cells have the ability to repair and fight off brain damage that causes Cerebral Palsy. 

The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS)

Scientists and doctors have used the Gross Motor Function Classification System, or GMFCS to measure whether patients with Cerebral Palsy respond to stem cell injections. The GMFCS scale is used to measure “motor, sensory, cognitive, and speech” improvement.

In a recent study, 11 of the 15 showed significant improvement on the GMFCS scoring system after they received stem cells. These patients improved in areas of muscle control, cognitive function, and bladder control. 

While these results seem promising, it’s worth noting that stem cell therapy remains a controversial treatment method, especially in the United States. As of 2017, there were 12 clinical trials around the world treating CP with stem cells.

Example GMFCS chart from nature.com

Other Treatments for Cerebral Palsy

While stem cell therapy remains on the cutting edge of Cerebral Palsy treatment research, there are many forms of proven, existing treatment options for people who have Cerebral Palsy. Our sister site, CPGuide.org, covers these treatment options extensively

Sources

Chahine, N., Wehbe, T., Hilal, R., Zoghbi, V., Melki, A., & Habib, E. (2016). Treatment of Cerebral Palsy with Stem Cells: A Report of 17 Cases. International Journal Of Stem Cells, 9(1), 90-95. doi:10.15283/ijsc.2016.9.1.90

CanChild . (2019). Canchild.ca. Retrieved 11 November 2019, from https://www.canchild.ca/en/resources/276-current-state-of-stem-cell-treatments-for-cerebral-palsy-a-guide-for-patients-families-and-service-providers

Graham, H., Rosenbaum, P., Paneth, N., Dan, B., Lin, J., & Damiano, D. et al. (2016). Cerebral palsy. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 2(1). doi:10.1038/nrdp.2015.82

Stem Cell Therapy Studies For Stroke, Cerebral Palsy Prepare For Clinical Trials. (2020). ScienceDaily. Retrieved 11 March 2020, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080129160714.htm

Contact a Cerebral Palsy and Birth Injury Attorney

Getting help for a child with a birth injury can make a big difference. Early intervention and early treatment is often key to helping improve a child’s wellbeing. You must act quickly.

If you have questions about whether your child’s birth injury was caused by a preventable medical error, then our attorneys at Brown Trial Firm may be able to help.

Case Review at No Cost or Obligation

If you would like help investigating your child’s birth injury, please contact us. Our birth injury attorneys will be happy to give you a free case evaluation. We can also point you to great non-legal resources that can help you figure out your next steps.

Many birth injuries that cause cerebral palsy could have been prevented. Don’t wait, get help today. Call +1 (844) 232-9228, email us at [email protected], or use the live chat button for 24/7 assistance.

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