Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the normal life and development of affected kids. Although there is no cure for this condition, stem cell therapy trials show positive outcomes of brain development and improved quality of life. In India, a Mumbai-based hospital provides stem cell treatment for kids affected with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy – How it affects normal life?
Cerebral palsy is usually caused by abnormal brain development or brain injury occurred prior to birth. In rare cases, it occurs during birth complications which accounts to 10% of cerebral palsy cases. This condition causes physical impairment – affect the muscles and the ability to control them, the movement of arms, legs and face, stiffness and pain in the limbs restricting the normal functions of the limbs and causes awkward positions. The fluctuation of muscle contractions in the patients cause trembling and shaking of limbs.
Kids with cerebral palsy may find it difficult to walk, sit or tie their shoe laces. Some may even find it difficult to grasp objects or raise their hands. What we consider as normal day-to-day activity seems like a milestone achievement in the lives of patients affected with cerebral palsy.
The severity of this condition varies depending on the degree of injury; one patient might experience complete paralysis and need constant care while other might have slight movement and require minimum assistance. They undergo extensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions to cope with everyday routine.
Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Cerebral Palsy
In the last two decades, researchers have identified numerous potential therapeutic applications of stem cells. At present, there is a wide array of clinical trials happening across the world using stem cell therapy to treat genetic, metabolic and blood related conditions. In the recent times, there are various studies conducted to see if the stem cells have potential to improve the lives of patients who are affected with neurodegenerative disorders.
Researchers believe that stem cell therapy can be used to treat neurological disorders like autism, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy. The therapy involves injecting the patient’s own stem cells into their body which can help in the rejuvenation of brain cells, thus controlling the severity of the symptoms. Usually, the stem cells are extracted from the patient’s bone marrow and injected near the brain and spinal cord so that the cells can quickly heal the injured region of the brain. In some clinical trials, umbilical cord stem cells of the patients are preferred as scientists believe these young and pristine stem cells have better chance.
Recently, a clinical trial for cerebral palsy was conducted by Duke University in North Carolina, United States using umbilical cord blood stem cells. LifeCell has released 3 of the preserved cord blood units to the respective families in order participate in the trial.
Till date, LifeCell has released many umbilical cord stem cell samples for transplants. Click here to know more about our transplant matrix.
Stem Cell Treatment in India
According to ‘The Hindu’, Neurogen Brain and Spine Institute (NBSI), a Mumbai based facility provided stem cell therapy to an 8 year old boy, Narayana. He underwent 2 sessions of stem cell transplant on November 2014 and September 2015 using his own stem cells. Dr. Alok Srivastav, Director of NBSI mentioned that the boy’s stiffness has reduced and the IQ levels have improved. Although, it is not a cure, the therapy helps in managing the symptoms of cerebral palsy. He believes that stem cell therapy can help the patients lead a better life. The boy’s physiotherapist said that the treatment results are amazing for Narayana.