Researchers at Duke University Medical Center are hoping for a breakthrough with cord blood infusions – and so are parents who are sending their children to be part of the study. The clinical trial is taking children with spastic cerebral palsy between the ages of 1 and 6 who have their own cord blood available.
The idea behind that trial is that the cord blood infusion which is done intravenously will help the children to improve the symptoms of cerebral palsy. As Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D. from Duke University Medical Center said, “There’s a huge need to be able to come up with a treatment for cerebral palsy for children who have lifelong problems.” She hopes to find that children, who are given cord blood from their own births, will react favorably and minimize the symptoms they experience with their cerebral palsy. She explained that cord blood cells can decrease inflammation, help normal cells to fix damaged tissues and grow them into new cells. As Dr. Kurtzberg explained, “Cord blood cells can graft and grow into some types of brain cells in the brain.”
So far, patients in the phase one trial have reported that they have improved speech, more mobility and better movement. While the first study that they did didn’t make comparison between the cord blood and the placebo, the new study will.