Monday, February 1, 2010

Stem Cells and Brain Injury

There have been a couple studies regarding stem cells and brain injury that I've recently come across and found interesting.

The first study I'd like to point out to is an animal study that transplanted embryonic stem cells into the brains of newborn mice. The study showed that the stem cells not only integrated into specific regions of the brain, but also linked correctly with surrounding neurons. Due to my personal beliefs I do not condone the use of embryonic stem cells, but the research is certainly promising. Read more about the study here.

The second study I'd like to call attention to is a clinical trial using adult stem cells derived from patients own bone marrow. It looks like preliminary results of the study should be published in a few months and we'll know more at that time. Intrathecal Stem Cells in Brain Injury (ISC)

Finally, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University is using children's own umbilical cord blood to treat cerebral palsy, among other things. Read more about this therapy from Ellen, a parent who's son received this therapy.


  1. Andy, please go back to Ellen and ask her for the post where she quotes Dr. Kurtzberg as saying they have no proof that the blood cord cell infusions are effective for the children.

    Also, the only human procedures involving transplanted (into the brain) stem cells are with adults with Parkinsonism. If you know of any hospital performing this with children, please post on it with references.


  2. Barbara, thank you for the comment!

    To quote Ellen's post I link to above:
    "Right now, Dr. Kurtzberg is only using stem cells from cord blood to treat cerebral palsy because the risks of using ones from a donor, even a sibling, are too high."

    The only stem cell studies I'm aware of are using adult stem cells derived from patients own bone marrow, which I reference above.

  3. Hi

    my son is 4 month old and he is suffering from H.I.E. stage 2

    Delatils of MRI given below:
    The bilateral supratentirial compartment reveals multicystic encephalomalacic gliotic changes with underlying volume loss in both cerebral hemisphere predominantly involving the perpheral / subcortical white matter region of bilateral temporo-parieto-occipital lobes more than the frontal lobes.

    i have preserved the umbilical cord blood that is also a main source of stem cell
    please let me know if the above mentioned disease is treatable using Stem Cell Therapy

    I live in India

    1. Hi Ankur, I know there are still clinical trials going on in the US.
      Here is a link to a couple of current study I know of.

      So sorry for the HUGE delay in responding.