For children with cerebral palsy (CP), taking their first steps or even grasping a toy can be impossible. CP is one of the most common causes of motor-function disability in children, affecting about one in every 345 young people.
Many children with cerebral palsy experience spasticity, which is defined as abnormal tightness due to prolonged muscle contraction and is commonly associated with damage to the brain or motor nerves. While there is no cure for CP, a new study indicates that using a child’s own cord blood could help improve their motor abilities.
Duke University Cord Blood Study for CP
In 2010, Dr. Kurtzberg began her first trial at Duke University testing the safety and feasibility of using cord blood to treat neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy. In one part of the study, Dr. Kurtzberg followed 63 children between the ages of one year and six years who all had CP as the result of brain damage sustained before or during birth.
Each child was given a varying dose of stem cells found in cord blood, depending on how many there were able to store and the child’s body weight. The results showed that the children given the higher doses of stem cells exceeded the improvements of those given lower doses.
While it is not scientifically confirmed yet, there are a few thoughts on how or why cord blood is useful for treating cerebral palsy:
- The stem cells replace dead or dying cells.
- The stem cells have growth factors that indirectly restore the injured tissue.
- The stem cells build a “biobridge” that connects the healthy part of the brain to the injured part and transports the stem cells to the area in need of repair.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
Due to medical advancements in today’s world, we are hopeful for the future outcomes of those living with cerebral palsy. With that said, many of those living with CP today still require around-the-clock care for cognitive and physical impairments.
At Angel Law, our legal team is dedicated to protecting the rights of families whose loved ones have sustained birth injuries due to medical negligence. If you believe that your child’s condition was caused by a negligent doctor or another medical provider, we are here to set things right.
Contact our firm at (503) 862-8666 to schedule your free consultation or to learn more about the services we offer.