27 May 2013

Coming out of a coma

Umbilical cord blood helped the child to get out of the vegetative state

Copper news

German doctors reported on the first successful experience of treating cerebral palsy in a 2.5-year-old child with autologous cord blood stem cells. Two months after the start of treatment, the boy came out of a vegetative state. A report on this case is published in the journal Case Reports in Transplantation (A. Jensen and E. Hamelmann, First Autologous Cell Therapy of Cerebral Palsy Caused by Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Damage in a Child after Cardiac Arrest – Individual Treatment with Cord Blood).

As reported in a press release of the Ruhr University (RUB, Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia), at the end of 2008, the child, whose name is not called, was in a state of clinical death as a result of cardiac arrest. Resuscitation measures lasted more than 25 minutes, the chances of survival in this case are no more than six percent. The boy survived, but his brain was severely damaged. The child fell into a vegetative state, his body was completely paralyzed. Until now, such a condition was considered irreversible.

The boy's parents turned to the RUB university clinic with a proposal to try in this hopeless situation to use the cells of his own umbilical cord blood, which were frozen at the birth of the child.

Nine weeks after the brain injury, on January 27, 2009, the boy began to be injected intravenously with his own umbilical cord blood, after which a relatively rapid improvement in his condition was recorded. Within two months after the start of the procedure, the child had a significant decrease in muscle spasticity, he began to see, sit, smile, laugh and pronounce simple words.

Snapshot from an article in Case Reports in Transplantation – VM

After 40 months (almost 3.5 years) after the start of therapy, the boy was able to eat on his own, walk with support and form sentences of four words.

"Of course, based on these results, we cannot yet say exactly what caused the recovery," the words of Dr. Arne Jensen, one of the team of doctors involved in the treatment of the boy, are quoted in a press release. "But, on the other hand, it is difficult to explain such impressive results only by symptomatic treatment carried out during active rehabilitation."

As noted in the press release, the therapeutic potential of cord blood stem cells has so far been studied on an animal model. So, earlier RUB researchers in experiments on rats found that such stem cells migrate to damaged areas of the brain within a day after administration. In March 2013, Korean scientists for the first time reported a successful experience in the treatment of cerebral palsy in one hundred children with allogeneic (genetically different) cord blood stem cells.

"The results we have obtained, together with the results of our Korean colleagues, dispel long–existing doubts about the effectiveness of the new treatment method," Jensen believes.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru27.05.2013

Found a typo? Select it and press ctrl + enter Print version