Cerebral Palsy (CP) is the name given to a group of disorders that are non-contagious and non-progressive in nature and are the cause of physical disability. The disease affects the brain’s cerebrum and causes movement related disorders. The damage to the brain does not worsen over time, but a number of secondary diseases may also occur. The other diseases that can associate itself with the disease CP include arthritis, motor disorders, and osteoporosis.
The various treatments used for treating the disease cannot address the root cause of it. Physical therapy, drugs, mechanical aids, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral therapy fail to offer further benefits after a certain period of time.
Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Stem cell therapy differs from other modes of treatment because it attacks the root cause of the disease Cerebral Palsy. The disease improves the quality of life of the patients and uses no drugs in its course of treatment. More than 70% of CP patients who receive the cellular treatment show improvements in various aspects.
The Transplantation Route
The CP patients are treated for the disease, through the injection of the autologous stem cells. Autologous cells are the cells that are derived/obtained from the body of the patient itself. Stem cells are injected into the blood stream through the intravenous route, and/or through a lumbar puncture. Mannitol is also administered. It helps the stem cells to reach the CNS or the Central Nervous System easily.
Bone Marrow Collection
The stem cells of the bone marrow of the patient are collected from the hip-bone by the use of a needle. A mini-puncture is done for the extraction of the cells. The needle insertion may cause some pain, but on the whole, the process is not painful in any way. As the patient is required to lie still for a certain period of time, the treatment is given under general anesthesia. After the bone marrow cells have been collected, the patients can go to their hotel/accommodation and carry on with life activities. The patients do rest for a short time period when administered the anaesthesia.
Leading institutions offering stem cell therapy for Cerebral Palsy treatment, including NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute (NGBSI) are ISO certified. These institutions carry out the therapy in a very safe and hygienic environment. NeuroGen also offers motor neuron disease stem cell treatment and the cellular therapy for other neurological and muscular disorders.
The lab processing involves a quality check of the stem cells. Their quantity is also examined. Genetic alterations may be done in order to improve the cells relevant for the treatment purposes. After processing, the stem cells can divide and differentiate to form the essential component cells of the nervous system and brain, and can form the glial cells, oligodendrocytes, and other cells. The cells also secrete certain Trophic and growth factors that can regenerate and repair the damaged tissues, and can improve the cellular environment.
Stem Cell Implantation
Stem cells are consequently implanted back into the body of the patients through IV or lumbar puncture. The injection of Mannitol opens up the Blood Brain Barrier so that the cells can reach into the affected parts of the brain.
Stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy treatment has benefits including a decrease in spasticity, better motor functioning, better sitting/walking/standing posture, better mental function, and reduction in the epileptic seizures, among others.