Cord Blood Registry (CBR), a newborn stem cell company, is partnering with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Georgia Regents University to establish FDA-regulated clinical trials investigating whether an intravenous infusion of a child's own cord blood cells, banked at the time of their birth, will lessen the symptoms of cerebral palsy.
"Despite remarkable medical advances, the incidence and prevalence of cerebral palsy has increased over time," said Heather Brown, vice president of Scientific and Medical Affairs at Cord Blood Registry. "CBR is the only newborn stem cell bank connecting client families to more potential treatments through FDA-regulated clinical trials.”
March is designated as Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month by the federal Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The national health observance aims to foster greater public recognition of the developmental disorder and to heighten awareness of the innovative efforts to discover new treatments.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that nearly one in every 323 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy—a group of disorders that affects an individual's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. The condition is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain.
While cerebral palsy has no cure today, treatment will often improve the capabilities of a child living with the condition. For children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the promise of stem cell therapies offers great hope. A growing body of research provides evidence that stem cells derived from cord blood can be used to repair damaged or diseased tissue or organs. Once universally regarded as medical waste, cord blood may hold the potential for medical applications not previously imagined.