While there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, researchers are trying to find treatments for the disease. One potential route for a cure is to use umbilical cord blood transplants. This is a form of stem cell therapy. However, according to Cerebral Palsy News Today, more controlled studies are necessary before this treatment can offered to the public.
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A study in Cytotherapy reviewed existing studies on the use of umbilical cord blood as a form of regenerative medicine focusing on several diseases including cerebral palsy. “Clinical studies have been conducted in many different countries and have described cord blood therapy for a broad array of indications,” the researchers said. However, “these studies are often heterogeneous in nature, and study designs are variable and describe outcomes using a range of measures at various time-points.”
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From what little research has been done for CP, six months after treatment there were promising signs of motor function inprovement. However, there was variability between studies when motor function was measured at other times. Using an infant’s own umbilical cord blood, so-called autologous treatment, was the most efficacious.
Nothing in the studies suggested that the technique didn’t give some improvement. However, it is uncertain how long the effects last and more rigorous studies are needed. Researchers encouraged further clinical trials.