ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Medicine & Health Science

Stem cells can treat traumatic brain injury in children

Updated on March 7, 2012

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury taking place in the brain as a result of a traumatic impact. It could be either a penetrating injury or a closed injury out of which closed injuries would be rather common. It accounts for almost 30% of all injury related deaths in the United States and almost 1.4 million Americans suffer from TBI each year. The incidence of such injuries have shown to be higher among children and among those who are above the age of 75 years.

Microscopic photo of neural stem cells. Taken Summer 2011 at the Buck Institute.
Microscopic photo of neural stem cells. Taken Summer 2011 at the Buck Institute.

The impact of traumatic brain injury

According to statistics, TBI leads to over 50,000 deaths each year and at present; there are about 5 million people in the United States suffering from permanent disability because of a traumatic brain injury. It costs the government almost 56 billion US dollars, which sees a gradual rise each year. For many years, experts believed that, TBI in children might have a les neurological impact than in an adult as the child’s brain will continue to grow for many years and could circumvent the injuries. However, present belief does not consider it less impacting as scientists realizes the late presenting nature of childhood brain injuries.

The manifestations following TBI in children

From long-term follow-up studies of children with TBI, it is evident how they suffer from personality, behavior, as well as learning related problems, which may not be apparent in the initial stages of the injury. Some children may suffer from permanent physical disability as well. At the same time, recognizing the manifestations related to TBI may be difficult during the teenage years as certain behavioral and personality changes would take place as a usual age related phenomenon.

Stem cells and its function

Stem cells are the body’s basic cellular element, which can convert itself into different varieties of cells that perform different functions. Thus, stem cells have the ability to become blood cells, muscle cells, or even nerve cells according to the bodies need. The stem cells are located in the bone marrow and as the child ages; its number would fall and be dormant in the ever-regressing bone marrow.


Stem cell research and traumatic brain injuries in children

Stem cell research have grown in leaps and bounds in the past decade and one such research have shed light to its potential in treating children with traumatic brain injury.

According to the researchers in The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the stem cells extracted from bone marrows of traumatic brain injured children could be used safely in the same patient, as a treatment option. Although the research does not address how effective or how efficient is its treatment potential, it answers the critics who question the safety of stem cell treatment in pediatric patients.

However, the intravenous infusion of harvested stem cells were done within 48 hours after the TBI and the initial phase I clinical trial involved 10 children between the ages of 5 – 14 years whom have suffered from severe TBI.

The research was published in the official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, the Neurosurgery.

Future expectations from stem cell therapy in children with TBI

The research described earlier provides the scientific community with the foundation on which they can do clinical trials using stem cells, as it has proven its safe use in children. Now, it is up to the scientists to undertake further studies on stem cell therapy, and develop an effective treatment strategy with observable positive outcomes among those who have been treated.


Center for Disease Control : TBI statistics

"Traumatic Brain Injury: Hope Through Research," NINDS. Publication date February 2002.

Discovery news : stem cells may help treat traumatic brain injuries


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)