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Can Cord Blood offer hope for the treatment of Brain Injuries?

Updated on August 22, 2016

Brain or neurological injuries, more often than not, are permanent in nature and never heal completely. There are several factors that can cause injury to the brain which include 'traumatic, vascular, infectious, genetic and environmental etiologies.' At the moment only techniques that are palliative or supportive are available for treating neurological injuries. The sole objective of these techniques is to handle the symptoms of the injuries. However, the use of cell therapies to cure brain injuries has become quite popular since they are 'anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and regenerative.' The application of stem cells extracted from the umbilical cord blood offers the most potential in treating brain injuries.

Stem cells are known to repair and regenerate themselves. These characteristics of the stem cells allow them to heal the internal injuries of the body, as well as create more stem cells which can mimic the functions of other specialized cells including brain cells. Cellular therapy for brain injuries involving stem cells derived from cord blood have resulted in many successful recoveries. One such successful story is as follows:

Abby Pell, daughter of Catherine and William Pell, was born with anoxic brain injury. This condition is caused when adequate oxygen is not provided to the brain during the process of childbirth. When Abby was two months old her parents received the devastating news of the severe damage caused to her brain when she was evaluated at the Children's Hospital in Washington, D.C. Abnormal brain development was to be Abby’s future that the doctors predicted. But the Pells did not lose hope.

The Pells had been aware of the recent strides taking place in the field of stem cell research and had the presence of mind to store Abby’s Cord Blood at the time of birth with a private cord blood bank. After consulting several neurologists, the Pells initially faced a lot of rejection. Since an autologous neurological stem cell infusion had never been performed before, many doctors were not willing to take the risk.

Finally, the Pells found Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University in North Carolina who agreed to perform the transfusion on Abby. Thus, on 15th February, 2005, Abby Pell became the first child to receive experimental transfusion for anoxic brain injury from her own stem cells. According to her parents, the stem cell transfusion was the right decision to make in her case. They felt that Abby has benefited tremendously from the procedure.

If you wish to secure your child’s health like William and Catherine Pell did, contact a Cordlife expert to avail their state-of-the-art cord blood banking services.

Cordlife is an ISO9001:2000 certified company that has received the gold standard for cord blood banking by AABB. This healthcare company has its headquarters in Kolkata and currently has the most sophisticated cord blood laboratory in the country.

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