New Treatment For Children With Cerebral Palsy Uses Stem Cells

Author: CBS New York

Some very exciting news for families that have cerebral palsy a treatment using stem cells. And this could be an effective way. Dr. Max is here to introduce uses to a young boy. Reporter: THIS IS STARTING TO DELIVER ON THE TREMENDOUS PROMISE OF STEM CELLS. These cells came from a child umbilical cord blood that was banked at birth. And some children suffered a brain injury around birth.

Resulting in cerebral palsy. It was a fairly uneventful pregnancy. Their first boy patrick was born near full term and seemed well.

For awhile. Left hand would be like a fist and hold the bottle to his mouth. And when he was crawling we thought it was cute but his right leg did all the work. Reporter: IT WAS CEREBRAL PALSY AND IT DIDN'T GET BETTER WHEN PATRICK STARTED WALKING. His left leg would turn in. When he started walking, he walked a little later and he would fall a lot. And then when he started running he would trip over his left leg. Reporter: TODAY YOU WOULDN'T KNOW THAT 12-YEAR-OLD PATRICK HAD EVER HAD ANY BRAIN ISSUES.

The change started six years ago with a letter the long island family got from viacord. It asked if they wanted to volunteer for a ground breaking study at duke university with Dr. Joann.

New Treatment For Children With Cerebral Palsy Uses Stem Cells

The remarkable results of the placebo controlled double blind study are documented in a just published journal. We were able to look at the motor tracks which are the nerve connections that control motor function. And we were able to show that children who had improvement function also had either repair or development of new motor tracks in the area. Reporter: NOW PATRICK HAS NO TROUBLE KEEPING UP HIS YOUNGER BROTHERS. And that left hand that used to curl into a fist no problem.

And sports. Doctors don't want to call this a cure but it is a simple treatment that improves a type of spastic cp. As for kids that didn't get their cord blood banked, he is exploring using so-called generic cord cells to help those children. And as parents said, this is just giving them their dreams back about what they thought patrick, their oldest son would be able to do. Now the sky is the limit.

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