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Cord blood treatment may benefit children with cerebral palsy

31 January 2013 - 2:28pm
Written by: 
Suzanne Still

Children with cerebral palsy who were treated with an infusion of cord blood showed "significant improvements" in cognitive function and motor skills according to a study published in the clinical research journal Stem Cells.

Head of Research of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, associate professor Iona Novak, commented that this is the "most important and promising" stem cell study in cerebral palsy published to date, and that it is the first possibility of a partial cure for the condition.

"We are hopeful this study will offer new treatments to Australians with cerebral palsy. We earnestly encourage more Australian research in this area," she added.

Dr Min Young Kim and researchers from Bundang Medical Center at CHA University in South Korea conducted the research, which saw children involved in the study receive cord blood from donors that were matched on at least four of six key markers.

Three control groups were reviewed with the first only receiving rehabilitation, the second receiving rehab plus hormone erythropoietin (EPO) and the third getting rehab and EPO together with a matched cord blood donation.

The children who received EPO therapy and cord blood had "significantly better outcomes" than the other groups in terms of cognitive function and motor skills.

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