New Research into Cerebral Palsy using Cord Blood Study

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) is leading the first clinical trial of stem cell infusion from cord blood, as a possible treatment for cerebral palsy (CP). The trial will take place in at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and funded jointly by Cell Care (Australia’s largest private cord blood bank) and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. The new research into Cerebal Palsy using cord blood study is expected to take two years.

Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. It is a permanent life-long condition and is caused by damage to the developing brain either during pregnancy or shortly after birth. It is the most common physical disability in childhood, with a child being born with cerebral palsy every day.

The study aims to find out firstly, if cord blood infusion is safe for children with the condition, and secondly if it is effective in treating the condition. For this safety trial, MCRI will recruit children with CP aged one to 11 years, who have sibling cord blood stored in one of Australia’s family cord blood banks.

If you or someone you know would like to participate in the study, the following screening criteria must be met:

  • Children with CP aged 1 to 11 years of age
  • Stored sibling cord blood

If those two criteria are met, then each person will be individually screened for eligibility.

If you have a child with cerebral palsy and have stored cord blood from a subsequent sibling, further information in this study is available here.

Many Australian families have stored their children’s cord blood in the hope that there will be advances in the field. In anticipation of research trials in Australia, Cell Care recently established a free cord blood collection and storage program for siblings of a child with CP which has had strong uptake.

If you are pregnant and have a child with cerebral palsy you may be eligible for Cell Care’s free Cerebral Palsy Cord Blood Collection Program.

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