Cerebral Palsy and Stem Cells

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Safety and efficacy of G-CSF mobilization and collection of autologous peripheral blood stem cells in children with cerebral palsy

Transfus Apher Sci. 2013 Dec;49(3):516-21
Authors: Moon JH, Kim MJ, Song SY, Lee YJ, Choi YY, Kim SH, Lee YH

Abstract
We hypothesized that mobilized peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) could be useful for treating neurological impairments and therefore assessed the safety of administering G-CSF followed by collecting PBSC in children with cerebral palsy (CP). G-CSF (10 μg/kg/day) was administered subcutaneously for 5 days, and apheresis was performed to collect PBSC via central venous catheter. G-CSF-related events occurred in 3 patients (fever in 2, irritability in 1). No catheter-related complications were reported. None of the patients needed platelet transfusion or calcium replacement during apheresis. Mobilization with G-CSF followed by PBSC collection appears to be safe and feasible in CP children.

PMID: 24035522 [PubMed – in process]

The potential for stem cells in cerebral palsy–piecing together the puzzle

Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2013 Jun;20(2):146-53
Authors: Faulkner SD, Ruff CA, Fehlings MG

Abstract
The substantial socioeconomic burden of a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, coupled with a positive anecdotal and media spin on stem cell treatments, drives many affected families to seek information and treatment outside of the current clinical and scientific realm. Preclinical studies using several types of stem and adult cells–including mesenchymal stem cells, neural precursor cells, olfactory ensheathing glia and Schwann cells–have demonstrated some regenerative and functional efficacy in neurologic paradigms. This paper describes the most common cell types investigated for transplant in vivo and summarizes the current state of early-phase clinical trials. It investigates the most relevant and promising coadministered therapies, including rehabilitation, drug targeting, magnetic stimulation, and bioengineering approaches. We highlight the need for adjunctive combinatorial strategies to successfully transfer stem cell treatments from bench to bedside.

PMID: 23948689 [PubMed – in process]

Neural stem cell-like cells derived from autologous bone mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of patients with cerebral palsy

J Transl Med. 2013;11:21

Authors: Chen G, Wang Y, Xu Z, Fang F, Xu R, Wang Y, Hu X, Fan L, Liu H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for cerebral palsy, which refers to a category of brain diseases that are associated with chronic motor disability in children. Autologous MSCs may be a better cell source and have been studied for the treatment of cerebral palsy because of their functions in tissue repair and the regulation of immunological processes.

METHODS: To assess neural stem cell-like (NSC-like) cells derived from autologous marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a novel treatment for patients with moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy, a total of 60 cerebral palsy patients were enrolled in this open-label, non-randomised, observer-blinded controlled clinical study with a 6-months follow-up. For the transplantation group, a total of 30 cerebral palsy patients received an autologous NSC-like cells transplantation (1-2 × 107 cells into the subarachnoid cavity) and rehabilitation treatments whereas 30 patients in the control group only received rehabilitation treatment.

RESULTS: We recorded the gross motor function measurement scores, language quotients, and adverse events up to 6 months post-treatment. The gross motor function measurement scores in the transplantation group were significantly higher at month 3 (the score increase was 42.6, 95% CI: 9.8-75.3, P=.011) and month 6 (the score increase was 58.6, 95% CI: 25.8-91.4, P=.001) post-treatment compared with the baseline scores. The increase in the Gross Motor Function Measurement scores in the control group was not significant. The increases in the language quotients at months 1, 3, and 6 post-treatment were not statistically significant when compared with the baseline quotients in both groups. All the 60 patients survived, and none of the patients experienced serious adverse events or complications.

CONCLUSION: Our results indicated that NSC-like cells are safe and effective for the treatment of motor deficits related to cerebral palsy. Further randomised clinical trials are necessary to establish the efficacy of this procedure.

PMID: 23351389 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Treatment of one case of cerebral palsy combined with posterior visual pathway injury using autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

J Transl Med. 2012;10:100
Authors: Li M, Yu A, Zhang F, Dai G, Cheng H, Wang X, An Y

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Cerebral palsy is currently one of the major diseases that cause severe paralysis of the nervous system in children; approximately 9-30% of cerebral palsy patients are also visually impaired, for which no effective treatment is available. Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) have very strong self-renewal, proliferation, and pluripotent differentiation potentials. Therefore, autologous BMSC transplantation has become a novel method for treating cerebral palsy.

METHODS: An 11-year-old boy had a clear history of dystocia and asphyxia after birth; at the age of 6 months, the family members observed that his gaze roamed and noted that he displayed a lack of attention. A brain MRI examination at the age of 7 years showed that the child had cerebral palsy with visual impairment (i.e., posterior visual pathway injury). The patient was hospitalized for 20 days and was given four infusions of intravenous autologous BMSCs. Before transplantation and 1, 6, and 12 months after transplantation, a visual evoked potential test, an electrocardiogram, routine blood tests, and liver and kidney function tests were performed.

RESULTS: The patient did not have any adverse reactions during hospitalization or postoperative follow-up. After discharge, the patient could walk more smoothly than he could before transplantation; furthermore, his vision significantly improved 6 months after transplantation, which was also supported by the electrophysiological examinations.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinical application of BMSCs is effective for improving vision in a patient with cerebral palsy combined with visual impairment.

PMID: 22607263 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Neuroprotection of VEGF-expression neural stem cells in neonatal cerebral palsy rats

Behav Brain Res. 2012 Apr 21;230(1):108-15
Authors: Zheng XR, Zhang SS, Yin F, Tang JL, Yang YJ, Wang X, Zhong L

Abstract
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a very common neural system development disorder that can cause physical disability in human. Here, we studied the neuroprotective effect of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-transfected neural stem cells (NSCs) in newborn rats with cerebral palsy (CP). Seven-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups: sham operation (control group), PBS transplantation (PBS group), VEGF+NSCs transplantation (transgene NSCs group) and NSCs transplantation groups (NSCs group). PBS, Transgene NSCs and NSCs groups respectively received stereotactic injections of PBS, lentiviral vector (pGC-FU-VEGF) infected NSCs or a NSCs suspension in the left sensory-motor cortex 3 days after CP model was established. The NSCs activity, their impacts on neural cell growth and apoptosis, brain development and animal behaviors were examined on the animals up to age 35-days. As expected, unilateral carotid artery occlusion plus hypoxia (cerebral palsy model) resulted in severe neural developmental disorders, including slowed growth, increased in cortical neuron apoptosis, decreased cerebral cortex micro-vessel density and retarded behavior developments. Transplantation of NSCs not only resulted in increases in VEGF protein expression in rat brains, but also largely prevented the behavioral defects and brain tissue pathology that resulted from cerebral palsy procedure, with animals received VEGF transfected NSCs always being marginally better than these received un-transfected cells. In conclusion, NSCs transplantation can partially prevent/slow down the brain damages that are associated with CP in the newborn rats, suggesting a new possible strategy for CP treatment.

PMID: 22342488 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]