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Study Points To Treatment For Cerebral Palsy

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A new technique being heralded as a breakthrough could have significant implications for the treatment of cerebral palsy.

Researchers say they’ve found a way to transform ordinary skin cells into brain cells that are missing or damaged in individuals with cerebral palsy and related disorders like multiple sclerosis. In such conditions, so-called myelinating cells — which help the brain send instructions to the rest of the body — cannot naturally be replaced.

In a study published Sunday in the journal Nature Biotechnology, scientists say they have successfully used the technique to alter cells from mice and are now looking to test it on human cells.

The approach dubbed “cellular reprogramming” is particularly promising, researchers say, because it relies on fibroblasts, a type of cell found in skin and many organs, that is abundantly available.

“We are taking a readily accessible and abundant cell and completely switching its identity to become a highly valuable cell for therapy,” said Paul Tesar, assistant professor of genetics and genome sciences at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and a senior author of the study.

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Comments (6 Responses)

  1. Shelly Merz says:

    This is absolutely wonderful news! I have recently been reading about stem cell therapy which is available in some countries but not here in Australia. This therapy would help so many people.

  2. Lori Harris says:

    Will they have any clinical studies????!!!!! I have an 8 year old daughter that we would love to try this on!!!! STILL HOPE!
    THANK-YOU!
    Sincerley,
    Lori Harris

  3. Liz Downes says:

    Would there be any chance that these tests will be happening here in Australia???? as I have a child with Spastic quadriplegia and he is 6yrs old….and would love to have the chance to be able to include him in this therapy….As there is so many therapies out there that are not available here in Australia like Dolphin therapy.

  4. David Snow says:

    We have tried numerous times both autologous stem cell therapy and umbilical cord blood derived stem cell transplant therapy. No cure yet. Rather than have the transplanted stem cells hopefully become “myelinating cells”, create billions of “myelinating cells” outside of the body and transplant those. We are waiting for the clinical trials to start.

  5. Amanda says:

    This concerns me as a person who has cerebral palsy. I am not defective and I do not need to be fixed. I am perfect just the way I am. We all have strengths and weaknesses. I would be worried that the treatment may cause more harm than good.

  6. Nicki says:

    This is great news! It will be interesting to read more about the studies.

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