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Adult stem cells aid recovery in animal model of cerebral palsy

But they are optimistic that the availability of clinical-grade cells would expedite such a move.

"We hope this will eventually be something that can be used in the neonatal intensive care unit in babies with severe asphyxial brain injuries," Dr. Carroll says of cerebral palsy patients. He and other pediatric neurologists and neonatologists already have begun to discuss such possibilities.

"These results suggest another promising avenue for stem cell therapy, this time to help newborn babies recover from a potentially devastating injury of birth for which there currently is no treatment," says Dr. Gil Van Bokkelen, chairman and chief executive officer of Athersys.

Ischemic brain injury accounts for about 10 percent of cerebral palsy, broadly defined as brain injury that occurs before or during birth, and about 80 percent of strokes. For every 1,000 babies born, one or two have cerebral palsy, with consequences ranging from undetectable to major physical and mental impairment. Currently there is no treatment to repair or reduce the damage of cerebral palsy; tPA was approved in 1996 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the first stroke treatment to reduce the damage of ischemic injuries.

Co-authors on the study include Dr. David Hess, chair of the MCG Department of Neurology; Dr. Lin Xu, research scientist; Drs. Noriyuki Matsaukawa, Guolong Yu, Takao Yasuhara and Koichi Hara, postdoctoral fellows; and Athersys scientists Robert Mays, Jim Kovach and Robert Deans.


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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-4421
Medical College of Georgia
30-Sep-2005


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