Recent studies reveal cord blood treatment can improve signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy. The results of these current studies, add to the list of diseases potentially treated by cord blood.
Cerebral palsy involves conditions that cause motor or physical disabilities to those who are affected during the course of their development. People affected with cerebral palsy manifests disabilities in different parts of the body.
Cerebral palsy gets its name from a combination of two terms, the first one, cerebral refers to the part of the brain called cerebrum, which is the part most affected (although in some cases the cortex and other parts such as the cerebellum may also be affected) and palsy, which means movement disorder. People affected with this condition often manifest abnormal muscle tones, abnormal reflexes, co-ordination and motor development.
Presence of contractures, bone and joint deformities is also one characteristic of the condition. Cerebral palsy has classic manifestations which involve spasms, spasticity, and a large decrease in muscle mass, gait problems, involuntary movements (face gestures), scissors walking and toe walking. People with this condition also have speech and language problems.
Cord Blood and Cerebral Palsy
Cord blood was first used to treat Fanconi anemia, a rare form of blood disorder. Since then, numerous studies on the potential of cord blood in the treatment of medical diseases were conducted. The study results are promising; showing potential and even effective results on the treatment of deadly blood disorders, malignancies and metabolic disorders.
Now cord blood is also seen to shed some light on the treatment of chronic degenerative motor conditions such as cerebral palsy. A study conducted in 20 cerebral palsy patients showed that infusion of autologous cord blood improved the condition of patients. The twenty patients had different levels of motor disability, 11 of them were quadriplegics (whole body is paralyzed), and 6 were hemiplegics (one side of the body is paralyzed) and 3 diplegic (symmetrical parts of the body are paralyzed). After the cord blood infusion, patients improved functional skills, fine motor movement, speech, mobility and even social function. In some patients, assistance from a caregiver was significantly reduced. The study went on to conclude that cord blood infusion can be a safe and feasible treatment for cerebral palsy patients.
Another study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center was exploring the potential of autologous cord blood infusion. In this study, children with the spastic form ages 1 to 6 years old were enrolled. The autologous cord blood was infused and the children were evaluated for improvement of symptoms.
According to the researchers, one primary advantage of an autologous cord blood treatment is that the risk of rejection is entirely eliminated. The study results would greatly help children prevent lifelong problems brought about by the condition and if the results would be proven successful, the next step is to find ways on how cord blood can be used to prevent cerebral palsy.
This article is written by Amarendra, a writer who writes different medical and health articles. He particularly writes about cord blood, cord blood transplant, and trends in cord blood treatment.