Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day

When you think about March you think of Spring, St. Patrick’s Day festivities and all of the green that comes along with it. Did you know the color green during the month of March also represents Cerebral Palsy Awareness?

Throughout the month people are encouraged to become better informed and more aware of cerebral palsy – a condition that affects approximately 1 in 323 children every year.1 Cerebral Palsy is a general term used to describe a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, such as body movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. 2  There are several different forms of cerebral palsy and the condition is most often caused by brain injury or an abnormality in brain development. This can be a result of trauma sustained in the womb or during the early years of life.

Today, on Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day, we’d like to help raise awareness by telling you about ongoing research exploring the use of umbilical cord blood stem cells as a possible treatment for cerebral palsy. 3,4   Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at Duke University Medical Center was the first to perform a reinfusion of cord blood stem cells in children diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Thanks to a grant of $10.2 million dollars from the Robertson Foundation, Dr. Kurtzberg and her team have moved into a Phase II clinical trial, which, if successful, may help more children with cerebral palsy gain access to the therapy. Researchers at Duke University are currently accepting participants in the clinical trial. For more details on the Cerebral Palsy Autologous Cord Blood Study from The Duke Translational Medicine Institute, click here.

You can help raise awareness too. Simply share this post on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks to spread the word about Cerebral Palsy and the important research focused on it. For more information on cerebral palsy visit the National Institute of Health.

To connect with families and researchers studying cerebral palsy, visit the Cerebral Palsy Research Registry


Disclaimer: Banking cord blood does not guarantee that treatment will work and only a doctor can determine when it can be used. Results are not guaranteed..
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/index.html 

2. PubMed Health: Cerebral Palsy  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001734/

3. Duke University: Phase I clinical trial using autologous cord blood to treat children with cerebral palsyKurtzberg J. Status of a clinical trial of autologous cord blood stem cells for the treatment of cerebral palsy and other acquired brain injuries in young children. Poster presented at: 8th Annual International Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation Symposium; June 3–5, 2010; San Francisco, CA.

4. Duke University: Phase II clinical trial using autologous cord blood to treat children with cerebral palsy. National Institutes of Health, ClinicalTrials.gov. A randomized study of autologous umbilical cord blood reinfusion in children with cerebral palsy.http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT1147653. Identifier NCT01147653Accessed November 21, 2011

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