Stem Cell Transplants Can Restore Cerebral Palsy Patients’ Movement, Study Reports

Stem Cell Transplants Can Restore Cerebral Palsy Patients’ Movement, Study Reports

Transplanting stem cells from bone marrow to the spinal canal, where they can reach the cerebrospinal fluid, improves cerebral palsy patients’ movement, a Phase 2 clinical trial indicates.

The study, “Outcomes of autologous bone marrow mononuclear cells for cerebral palsy: an open label uncontrolled clinical trial,” was published in the journal BMC Pediatrics.

Stem cells can morph into other cells, including neurological cells such as neurons and astrocytes. They also can deliver beneficial signaling molecules to injured sites, promoting repair.

These findings suggest that stem cells could be used to help the body recover from several diseases. In fact, a stem cell collected from bone marrow, known as a bone marrow mononuclear cell, or BMMNC, may be able to help cerebral palsy patients recover motor function, previous research indicates.

Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to, or abnormalities inside, the developing brain. These problems disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance.

The recent Phase 2 clinical trial (NCT02569775) evaluated the safety and effectiveness of transplanting BMMNCs to the spinal canal. From the canal the stem canals can reach the cerebrospinal fluid, which acts as a cushion to protect the brain.

Researchers used patients’ own stem cells — or autologous cells — for the transplants. The treatment involved two BBBNC injections to the spinal canals of 40 cerebral palsy patients aged 2 to 15. The second injection was administered three months after the first.

The transplants led to major improvements in patients’ ability to move. Many either totally or partially reacquired capabilities such as sitting, standing, lying down, and rolling. In addition, patients’ muscle tone improved significantly after the transplants.

Factors such as age, sex, and severity of the disease had no impact on the results, researchers said.

Researchers found no serious treatment-related adverse events after the transplants. Twelve patients developed mild fevers, and there were nine cases of intermittent vomiting, the team said. All of the events were well-managed with standard medication, they said.

The findings suggested that transplanting stem cells was safe for CP patients.

“Based on the results of this study, we can conclude that autologous BMMNCs transplantation appears to be a safe and effective therapy for patients with cerebral palsy related to oxygen deprivation,” the researchers wrote. “Further studies are needed to examine the optimal regimen for this therapy and its long-term effect, ideally in double-blind controlled trials.”


  1. I am so interested in this study. I must find out how it can benefit me. Lost oxygen at birth, didn’t notice anything wrong until about 6 months. Diagnosed with spastic dipledga CP. However it was an emergency C-section.

  2. Sandra ablahad says:

    Hi my daughter is 14 And has CP. I have always wanted to try the stem cell on her. Do insurance cover it? We are based in Michigan is there a clinic in Michigan that does the stem cell?

  3. Cora says:

    I was born with cerebral palsy due to lack of oxygen at birth. I can walk, I lead a fairly normal life except I have tight muscles which affect my speech and other parts of my body. I also want to have a baby and I have not been able to conceive. I am almost 40 years old. Do you think this could help me

  4. Hariprasad says:


    My kid has got CP and he is 1.6 years now. We have diagnosed it only after 7 months when we saw global developmental delays. Now we are giving him occupational therapy and Physiotherapy. I am interested to give this treatment to my son. We are Chennai in India. Can I more information on this treatment pls.

  5. sana says:

    My son is 1.4 years now and has CP.We started his occupational and physiotherapy.I want to know more information about this treatment plz reply me.

  6. Joseph Linksman says:

    My son has a slight case of CP that affects his legs, causing him to walk in his toes. He is now 4 yrs old. Would we be able to use stem cells from his sibling for this treatment?

    • Aisha says:

      You can visit www. to see what trials are available , then look for the Reserachers email address or phone numbers and ask them if you can join.

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