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Georgia Researchers Investigate Stem Cell Treatment of Cerebral Palsy

Researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University are conducting the country’s first-ever tests on the use of stem cells to treat cerebral palsy.The researchers will be using stem cells from newborns’ cord blood to treat this condition.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that usually arises when an infant has been deprived of oxygen before or immediately after delivery.Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers often find that this condition is the result of wrong medical decisions during delivery.For instance, when a doctor postpones the decision to conduct a Cesarean section to deliver the baby, the baby may be stuck in the birth canal, cutting off vital oxygen supply to the brain.This oxygen deprivation often leads to a condition called cerebral palsy, in which there is a disrupted development in the motor, movement and other abilities of the child. Given the serious nature of this condition, medical malpractice cases seeking to recover for this type of personal injury involve a substantial commitment to litigation by the attorneys and clients.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy.Children may undergo rehabilitation in order to regain some control over their movements, but a complete cure is to not around the corner.However, researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University are now experimenting recommending with stem cells from infants’ cord blood in order to lessen the impact of this condition.

Stem cell therapy involves injecting healthy stem cells from other areas of the body into the damaged areas.The belief is that the stem cells will cause the replication of healthy cells in the damaged area, thereby accelerating the process of healing.This is the first such study that will use stem cell therapy to treat cerebral palsy.

The stem cells in this study, however, come from a newborn’s own cord blood, and not from a sibling or any other close relative.Mothers who had the foresight to save their baby’s cord blood after delivery may now learn whether their decision will benefit the baby.Several children with cerebral palsy in Georgia have enrolled in the study.

Already, some of the children in the study have made substantial improvements since they enrolled in the program.Their parents have found some dramatic changes in their speech as well as walking skills after they enrolled in the stem cell program.Doctors know that cerebral palsy is an incurable condition, but they want to see whether the quality of life for these patients can be improved markedly.

There are several benefits to using stem cells from infants’ cord blood.For one, the stem cells are the person’s own, so there are minimal risks of complications or side effects.When stem cells from another person are used, there is a risk that a person could suffer serious side effects or reactions.Those risks are not present when these stem cells are your own.Unfortunately, the practice of storing cord blood after delivery is not a popular one.According to some estimates, approximately 95% of all cord blood is discarded as medical waste.Only about 5% of all parents choose to save their baby’s cord blood after delivery.