Stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy

John Bartley, James E. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cerebral palsy is a group of brain diseases which produce chronic motor disability in children. The causes are quite varied and range from abnormalities of brain development to birth-related injuries to postnatal brain injuries. Due to the increased survival of very premature infants, the incidence of cerebral palsy may be increasing. While premature infants and term infants who have suffered neonatal hypoxic-ischaemic (HI) injury represent only a minority of the total cerebral palsy population, this group demonstrates easily identifiable clinical findings, and much of their injury is to oligodendrocytes and the cerebral white matter. While the use of stem cell therapy is promising, there are no controlled trials in humans with cerebral palsy and only a few trials in patients with other neurologic disorders. However, studies in animals with experimentally induced strokes or traumatic injuries have indicated that benefit is possible. The potential to do these transplants via injection into the vasculature rather than directly into the brain increases the likelihood of timely human studies. As a result, variables appropriate to human experiments with intravascular injection of cells, such as cell type, timing of the transplant and effect on function, need to be systematically performed in animal models with HI injury, with the hope of rapidly translating these experiments to human trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Marrow stromal cells
  • Neuron
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Periventricular leukomalacia
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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