Stem Cells Arabia has sponsored a study investigating whether intervention with mesenchymal stem cell therapy in children with cerebral palsy is safe and effective.
Cerebral Palsy: Definition and Treatment
Cerebral palsy is a disorder of the neuromuscular system caused by an insult to the developing brain. Commonly known as CP, the disorder is caused by a brain injury before, during, or shortly after birth. The condition is characterized by problems with muscle coordination and movement due to brain damage. Movement, coordination, control, tone, posture, reflexes, and balance are all affected. Both fine and gross motor skills are suboptimal in children with CP.
Cerebral palsy is not a life-threatening condition and most children live to adulthood. However, the damage to the brain is incurable and cannot be fixed, although it is a one-time injury that does not progress. Therapies, assistive devices, medications, and surgery are used to manage CP and its associated conditions.
Stem Cell Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy places a tremendous medical and socioeconomic burden on the affected child and family. Current treatments for cerebral palsy are focused on symptomatic care and supportive management. Stem cells are a presumptive intervention for CP on account of their regenerative ability. Experiments on central nervous system disorders have shown that mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem cells are efficacious treatments for neuromuscular pathologies.
New Study for Cerebral Palsy
Researchers are conducting a single group assessment with an open-label interventional study in which children with cerebral palsy will receive intrathecal and intravenous administration of mesenchymal stem cells and purified marrow-derived stem cells. The phase 1/2 study will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of a biological intervention with specific populations of stem cells. Over a timeframe of six months, changes in the quality of movement will be measured with a standard tool for assessing motor performance. In addition, one year following the administration of stem cells, MRI analysis will be performed to study specific lesions in the white matter of the brain and assess for any changes in brain diffusion images. The study will enroll 50 subjects between the ages of 2 and 12 years of both genders. Healthy volunteers are not eligible to participate in the study. Results are expected in October 2020.