Pediatric neurologist James Carroll is heading a new clinical trial at the Georgia Health Sciences University that aims to use autologous stem cells to improve the quality of life for children with cerebral palsy, a condition that occurs prior to birth or in the early years of life and can severely impair movement, hearing, vision and cognitive skills.
Dr. Carroll notes that “We’ve found in our animal experiments that adult stem cells can greatly assist in recovery from brain injury, so we wanted to try to apply this in children and cord blood; that is, the cord blood of the child being treated provides a safe place and a safe way to do that.”
As stem cell therapies advance, autologous stem cells, or a patient’s own stem cells, will prove to be the safest and most effective for use in treatments as their utilization eliminates the possibility of rejection as well as the need for immuno-suppression regiments. This clinical study and potential treatment for cerebral palsy is made possible as a result of the parent’s decision to bank their children’s own stem cells. By banking one’s own stem cells, families and individuals can ensure that they will have access to innovative therapies that arise from research such as this.
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