Children to receive umbilical cord blood in world first cerebral palsy trial
Australian children with cerebral palsy will be infused with umbilical cord blood, in a world first medical trial at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. The study hopes to find that stem cells from cord blood can repair brain injury that leads to cerebral palsy, the most common physical disability of Australian children.
Professor Iona Novak of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Institute said the importance of the study could not be underestimated. "This study,” explains Professor Novak, “is an important first step towards potentially improving treatment."
Children aged 1 to 10 with cerebral palsy (a series of disabilities associated with movement and posture) will receive infusions of cord blood rich in stem cells, which have the ability to develop into other cells in the body. The two-year study will investigate any changes in motor skills in these children.