Stem Cell Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

A combination of stem cells and extensive therapies giving the patient real chances of improvement

Last Updated on: 9th October 2023, 03:31 am

Table of Contents

Is Stem Cell Treatment for Cerebral Palsy Effective?

Have you given thought to pursuing stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy (CP) encompasses a range of disorders stemming from brain injuries sustained during the perinatal period. At present, there are limited options for curative treatments, with the majority of interventions targeting symptom management. Stem cell transplantation, however, offers a regenerative therapy with the capability to replace damaged and non-functional brain cells in individuals with CP.

Read on to see if Cerebral Palsy Stem Cell Treatment might be right for you.

Patient case Study - Cerebral Palsy Stem Cell Treatment

After a successful first stem cell treatment in Thailand in 2019, six young people with cerebral palsy travelled again from Poland for a second round of stem cells and supporting therapies.

After a successful first stem cell treatment in Thailand in 2019, six young people with cerebral palsy travelled again from Poland for a second round of stem cells and supporting therapies. The families agreed to sit with us and tell us more about the improvements they have noticed so far and the treatment experience in general.

Beike Biotechnology Patient Outcome Data

The table below presents the findings from a questionnaire completed by 229 patients who received stem cell treatment with Beike Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy. This survey was designed to gather insights into patient satisfaction, the perceived effectiveness of the stem cell treatment, and any potential areas of improvement.

The responses have been collated and organized to provide a comprehensive overview of the patients’ experiences and outcomes.

We invite you to review the table for a detailed exploration of the results and the emerging patterns from the patient feedback.

This data was last updated on the 8th of October 2023

% of Patients, who noticed Improvement % of Patients who noticed a Small Improvement % of Patients who noticed a Moderate Improvement % of Patients who noticed a Large Improvement
Trunk muscle strength
78%
34%
33%
21%
Range of movement
86%
36%
32%
18%
Limb muscle strength
82%
37%
23%
22%
Spasticity
82%
36%
30%
16%
Appetite
83%
26%
25%
32%
Head control
88%
32%
33%
23%
Swallowing
79%
33%
24%
23%
Balance
71%
35%
25%
11%
Speech (babbling for infants)
77%
38%
22%
17%
Drooling
71%
31%
20%
19%
Involuntary movements
79%
39%
26%
13%
Mood disorder
75%
32%
26%
17%
Learning disability
72%
35%
22%
14%
Standing up
57%
27%
21%
8%
Walking
52%
25%
13%
14%
Crawling
45%
23%
15%
7%
Bladder control
54%
20%
15%
20%

Do you feel as though your stem cell treatment has improved the quality of life?

No
11%
Yes, has slightly improved
40%
Yes, has moderately improved
22%
Yes, has significantly improved
26%
% of patients with some level of +ve result
89%

Are you currently satisfied with the outcome of the treatment?

No
4%
No comment
10%
Somewhat satisfied
33%
Yes
53%
% of patients a positive level of satisfaction
86%

Are you currently experiencing any improvements in your general physical condition?

No
12%
Yes, small improvements
41%
Yes, moderate improvements
26%
Yes, significant improvements
21%
% of Patients with ongoing improvements
88%

How stem cell therapy works in Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP), also first known as Little’s disease, is the most common cause of physical disability in children. It affects 2 to 3 children out of every 1000 live births. 

Despite the current lack of a curative treatment, with the majority of treatments only providing limited benefit (1, 2), stem cell therapy has been emerging as a novel yet effective treatment for CP; with it possibly reversing some of the original brain damage incurred during brain maturation (3-5).

Stem cell therapy has been shown to benefit at least 85% of CP patients treated, with the best improvement being seen in muscle tone, and almost half of the patients showing moderate to significant neurological improvement (5, 6). Cerebral Palsy is actually one of several conditions that have been scientifically proven to respond positively to stem cell treatment as we will discuss.

Stem cell treatment involves the injection of immature stem cells that are basically the origin of all the cells within our bodies. Stem cells can differentiate into different cell lines, therefore replacing degenerating and damaged cells – such as the oligodendrocytes in cerebral palsy – with healthy ones from a healthy donor.  Stem cells can differentiate into lots of cell lineages including skin, bone, hair, cartilage, neurons, muscles, fat cells, liver, etc. (3).

In the case of CP and other neurological disorders, they also offer additional neuroprotection, i.e. preventing the already-ongoing process of neurological degeneration through (3, 11):

  • Increasing the production of neurotrophic factors that promote nervous cell proliferation and differentiation (ex. glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF))
  • Increasing the number of oligodendrocytes, which are defective in patients with CP, to allow proper brain myelination
  • Modulating your immune system and the ongoing inflammatory process – thereby reducing the ongoing neurodestructive process
  • Promoting vascular supply to the nervous system through stimulating the generation of new blood vessels (neovascularization)
  • Stimulating neuroplasticity/brain connectivity by increasing the number of synaptic connections
  • Increasing the number of the brain’s microglia which are responsible for repairing brain damage and preserving normal brain tissue
  • Reducing free radicals and reactive oxygen species production that could have detrimental effects on the nervous system (including the induction of neuron-cell apoptosis/death)

What are the Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy in Cerebral Palsy

The efficacy of stem cell transplantation reaches as high as 85% – which is a dramatic improvement from the currently-used treatments. It can repair and stop the ongoing neurological destructive process, and it might even reverse the original brain insult responsible for CP. Stem cells have proven benefits in improving (4, 5):

  • Gross motor functions: Such as walking, jumping, kneeling, sitting, and crawling
  • Fine motor functions: Such as different hand functions
  • Muscle tone: Muscle tone significantly decreases after stem cell therapy – therefore allowing better range of motion
  • Cognitive functions: Such as alertness and concentration
  • Speech and language
  • Swallowing and drooling
  • Self-dependence
  • Social-adaptability
  • Visual acuity
  • Psychiatric and physical health: Including better mood

Although stem cell therapy provides significant benefits in CP as mentioned, it should still be used in combination with other treatment modalities including physiotherapy; psychiatric therapy; and speech therapy – all of which are available at Beike Technology – in order to achieve the highest possible response out of treatment.

Side Effects and Factors Affecting Response to Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy has limited side effects if used correctly, with comparable side effect risks to those associated with regular blood transfusion (ex. allergic reactions or fever). Also, given that this might be a difficult decision to make, and you might need to weigh the benefits versus risks prior to starting this journey, we will discuss with you different factors that might affect your child’s response to stem cell therapy, and how we at Beike Technology address each factor to ensure that we provide you with the highest efficacy using the safest procedure possible (7, 12).

  • Dose/Number of stem cells: The higher the dose of stem cells – within limits of course – the better the response. At Beike Technology, we administer an optimum dose of around 120-400 Million Cells (depending on the child’s weight).
  • Route/Method of administration: Studies have shown that intrathecal injection (through lumbar puncture directly within the brain’s CSF) provides a better response than the traditional intravenous route (which causes stem cells to go to other organs than the brain before reaching it). At Beike Technology, we use both intravenous and intrathecal routes concomitantly in order to obtain maximal efficacy; while ensuring the least possible side effects of toxicity.
  • Age of transplant: There is some suggestion that the younger age of intervention has better results to stem cell therapy.
  • Type of Stem Cells used: As previously mentioned, umbilical cord-based stem cells have better-proven efficacy in CP compared to other types of stem cells. At Beike Technology, we use both forms of umbilical cord-based samples in patients with CP; umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue.
  • Follow-up Time: Significant benefits from stem cell therapy begin appearing around three months after stem cell therapy, and most people reach their full potential around 6-12 months after treatment. At Beike Technology, even after discharge, we provide you with a full follow-up program beginning as early as one month and up to one year after transplantation. You have complete access to our professional team even after you leave our center.

Possible improvements after Stem Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy

The purpose of the treatment is to promote healing of the original brain injury in order to restore neurological function. Thus, various kinds of improvement are possible after our treatment. The majority of Cerebral Palsy patients that have been treated by Beike, utilizing the combination of stem cell therapy and rehabilitation, showed visible signs of improvements, especially for these symptoms*:

Spasticity
Range of movement
Speech
Walking
Balance
Swallowing
Learning
Mood disorder
Head control
Drooling and appetite

*It is important to remember that as for any medical treatment, improvements cannot be guaranteed. Please contact us for more information regarding the possible improvements for a particular case

Our Treatment Program in Details

Beike is unlike any other stem cell treatment provider in the world, the reason? Since 2005, we have been developing and optimizing our stem cell treatment protocols with the concept that only a very comprehensive solution can allow our patients to truly benefit from stem cells. We believe that stimulation through various therapies is necessary to enhance stem cell regenerative response, therefore our protocols include daily therapies to support the stem cells. Finally, we provide a wide variety and large quantities of stem cells in order to adapt to each patient’s specific condition and deliver maximized regenerative potential.

Our stem cell therapy program for cerebral palsy consists of 6 to 8 simple and minimally invasive injections of umbilical cord-derived stem cells. The stem cells are transplanted using two separate methods: by intravenous way using a standard IV drip system, and through intrathecal injection performed after lumbar puncture. These two delivery methods allow for increased efficacy while ensuring safety and minimum inconvenience for the patient.

our-treatment-program-details-icon1
15 to 23 Days Stay
our-treatment-program-details-icon2
IV & Intrathecal Injections
our-treatment-program-details-icon3
UCBSC / UCMSC Cells
our-treatment-program-details-icon4
Daily Therapy Program
our-treatment-program-details-icon5
120-400 Million Cells
our-treatment-program-details-icon6
Nutrition Program

Patient Experience Stories

Find out more about patients previously treated with Beike stem cell protocols. The families participating in these blog posts talk about their stories and present their own view of the treatment, including thoughts regarding the daily therapies, the stem cell injection themselves as well as improvement noticed during and after treatment.

Young Girl with Cerebral Palsy
Ava and her mom came to Thailand in February 2022. After 23 days of treatment, they went back to Switzerland very confident that the improvements would come soon. 3 months later Ava’s mom contacted us and shared all the great news about her daughter, on her own words here is …
Boy playing a game
From day one the whole staff made us feel very comfortable. Our patient Subir together with his dad underwent our stem cell therapy protocol for 23 days. During their stay, we sat down with them to understand more about Subir’s condition and their experience at our facility center in Bangkok, …
Young child with Spina Bifida swimming

Sophie’s mom wrote us feedback in the form of a letter and with her consent, we decided to share it with you below… Sophie was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia, a rare genetic deficiency. She was diagnosed with chronic …

Frequently asked questions about Cerebral Palsy

  • What is the Pathophysiology of Cerebral Palsy?

    The sequence of events for CP goes as follows (7, 8):

    • Perinatal brain injury/insult, i.e. from the time of pregnancy till a few months after birth, happens for one reason or another.
    • The brain receives a severe insult during such a critical time of ongoing brain maturation.
    • This could happen due to difficult labor, due to severe neonatal infection (ex. meningitis), or even due to neonatal head trauma.
    • All of these insults cause injury to different brain cells, especially one type of cells known as oligodendrocytes.
    • Some insults could reduce blood/oxygen supply to the brain (hypoxia), some insults increase the level of toxic brain free-radicals, and some release pro-inflammatory substances inducing cellular damage of brain cells and oligodendrocytes.
    • Oligodendrocytes are the cells responsible for something called “Myelination” of the neuronal axons within the white matter of the central nervous system which allows neural signal transmission within the brain and from the brain to the whole body.
    • Having an inappropriately myelinated nervous system – known as leukomalacia – leads to lacking brain connectivity and characteristic motor features of CP.
    • The severity or extent of brain injury usually correlates with the severity of the child’s motor symptoms.
  • What are the Symptoms and Signs of Cerebral Palsy?
    Symptoms of CP differ greatly from one child to the other. It can also affect the whole body, or be limited to only one side of the body or even only one limb. It typically affects movement and coordination, speech and eating, development, as well as other problems (9). Movement and Coordination
    • Stiff muscles/Spasticity (the most common finding)
    • Muscle tone abnormalities (Either being too stiff or too sloppy)
    • Stiff muscles with normal reflexes (Rigidity)
    • Tremors
    • Lack of balance and coordination (Ataxia)
    • Writhing movements
    • Difficulty walking (ex. crouched gait/scissors-like gait/wide gait)
    • Favoring one body side (ex. dragging on side while crawling/reaching out using one hand)
    • Difficulty in fine motor skills (ex. using cutlery/buttoning their clothes)
    Speech and Eating
    • Speech delay
    • Difficulty speaking
    • Difficulty eating or chewing
    • Excessive drooling
    Development
    • Learning difficulties
    • Intellectual disability
    • Growth delay (being shorter or thinner than expected for age)
    • Delay in motor skills
    Other Problems
    • Seizures
    • Hearing problems
    • Vision problems or eye movement abnormalities
    • Abnormal pain/touch sensation
    • Bladder/Bowel problems (ex. constipation or urinary incontinence)
    • Behavioral or psychiatric problems
  • What are the Traditional Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy?
    Treating CP usually includes doctors from different medical departments including physiotherapists; audiologists; speech therapists; pediatric doctors; and psychiatrists. The currently used treatment modalities offer no cure, and they only aim to improve your child’s daily functioning and ability to care for themselves. Treatment differs according to the main presentation your child presents with. Current treatments that are widely used include (1, 2, 10): Pharmacological/Medical Treatment Medications are primarily used to treat muscle spasticity commonly seen in CP – which causes lots of pain for the child and reduces their full movement potential. Relief is provided to the child through using muscle relaxants (ex. Baclofen tablets/Botilinium injection/Vallium injection/Dantrolene tablets). Physiotherapy Physiotherapy is one of the most importantly used treatment modalities. It can be used to improve muscle strength and flexibility, prevent joint contracture/stiffness, and improve balance and gait. There is currently a wide array of available exercises that serve a specific function according to the predominant symptom present. Speech Therapy A speech therapist can be integrated into your child’s treatment plan in order to improve the clarity of their speech or to teach them to use sign language. Surgical Intervention This includes orthopedic surgeries for children with severe deformities or contractures in order to minimize pain and improve mobility. Surgeons might lengthen muscles or tendons in contracted areas. In the case of resistant cases, nerves supplying the spastic muscles might even be cut in order to forcibly relax them. Other treatments Other treatments might be integrated; including anticonvulsants for seizures, psychiatric help for mood disorders, occupational therapy for adults with CP, and hearing aids for hearing impairment. These treatments are merely methods of “Relief” for your child’s symptoms; offering no actual condition improvement. This is where stem cell therapy; once referred to as the “New Savior for Cerebral Palsy Patients”, which regenerates and restores the damaged parts of the brain of patients with CP (7).
  • What Types of Stem Cells are used to treat Cerebral Palsy?
    Treating CP usually includes doctors from different medical departments including physiotherapists; audiologists; speech therapists; pediatric doctors; and psychiatrists. The currently used treatment modalities offer no cure, and they only aim to improve your child’s daily functioning and ability to care for themselves. Treatment differs according to the main presentation your child presents with. Current treatments that are widely used include (1, 2, 10): Pharmacological/Medical Treatment

    There are currently major four available sources for obtaining stem cells; namely (3):

    • Umbilical cord-related samples: most widely available and has the least possible side effects or rejection
    • Bone marrow samples
    • Brain tissue samples
    • Embryos

    In patients with CP, umbilical cord stem cell therapy has been proven to be the most efficacious type in improving its symptoms as well as the safest with the least side effects. At Beike Technology, in addition to the fact that we use umbilical cord stem cells, we actually use two forms of umbilical cord-related samples – both umbilical cord blood and tissue – donated from healthy mothers after normal birth. Using combined stem cell therapy sources, and routes as will be mentioned later, provides better results and less side effects (7).

References

1. Patel DR, Neelakantan M, Pandher K, Merrick J. Cerebral palsy in children: a clinical overview. Translational pediatrics. 2020;9(Suppl 1):S125-s35. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7082248/

2. Paul S, Nahar A, Bhagawati M, Kunwar AJ. A Review on Recent Advances of Cerebral Palsy. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity. 2022;2022:2622310. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9356840/

3. Kiasatdolatabadi A, Lotfibakhshaiesh N, Yazdankhah M, Ebrahimi-Barough S, Jafarabadi M, Ai A, et al. The Role of Stem Cells in the Treatment of Cerebral Palsy: a Review. Molecular neurobiology. 2017;54(7):4963-72. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27520277/

4. Lv ZY, Li Y, Liu J. Progress in clinical trials of stem cell therapy for cerebral palsy. Neural regeneration research. 2021;16(7):1377-82. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8284300/

5. Sharma A, Gokulchandran N, Chopra G, Kulkarni P, Lohia M, Badhe P, et al. Administration of autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells in children with incurable neurological disorders and injury is safe and improves their quality of life. Cell transplantation. 2012;21 Suppl 1:S79-90. Available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3727/096368912X633798

6. Eggenberger S, Boucard C, Schoeberlein A, Guzman R, Limacher A, Surbek D, et al. Stem cell treatment and cerebral palsy: Systemic review and meta-analysis. (1948-0210 (Print)). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6828595/

7. Vankeshwaram V, Maheshwary A, Mohite D, Omole JA, Khan S. Is Stem Cell Therapy the New Savior for Cerebral Palsy Patients? A Review. Cureus. 2020;12(9):e10214. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7535865/

8. Kim TK, Park D, Ban YH, Cha Y, An ES, Choi J, et al. Improvement by Human Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells of Neurobehavioral Disorders in an Experimental Model of Neonatal Periventricular Leukomalacia. Cell transplantation. 2018;27(7):1168-77. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29978719/

9. Mayoclinic. Cerebral Palsy Symptoms & Causes: Mayoclinic; 2021 [cited 2023 April 14th]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20353999.

10. Mayoclinic. Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis & Treatment: Mayoclinic; 2021 [cited 2023 April 14th]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354005.

11. Boruczkowski D, Pujal J-M, Zdolińska-Malinowska I. Autologous Cord Blood in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences [Internet]. 2019; 20(10). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6566649/

12. Qu J, Zhou L, Zhang H, Han D, Luo Y, Chen J, et al. Efficacy and safety of stem cell therapy in cerebral palsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology. 2022;10:1006845. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9794999/

dot-design
stem-cell-quality-and-quantity-ensured-img1
dot-design
stem-cell-quality-and-quantity-ensured-img2

Stem Cell Quality and Quantity Ensured

Different types of stem cells for different needs

Beike treatment protocols use stem cells from two separate sources: umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue. Umbilical cord related samples are donated by healthy mothers after normal births and are sent to Beike Biotech’s laboratories for processing.

After reviewing the patient’s full medical information, our doctors will recommend which source of stem cells should be used for treatment. Our treatment protocols may include one or multiple types of stem cells in combination depending on each patient’s specific condition.

Highest International Stem Cell Processing Standards

Backed by accreditations from national and international authorities we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality stem cells possible for your benefit.

Patient Videos

Below are video interviews recorded during treatment with Beike stem cells. The families showcased in these videos talk about their personal stories and their experience of the treatment including the improvement noticed.

The improvements mentioned in these videos are typical, however it does not guarantee that all patients may have the same improvements.

why-choose-beike-img

Why Choose Beike for a Stem Cell Treatment?

  • Experience
    With more than a decade of practice, you are ensured to be advised and treated by competent professionals.
  • Diversity
    Multiple types of stem cells having different capabilities are available to adapt to each patient’s specific condition. We do not use the same type of stem cells for all patients.
  • Extensiveness
    A complete supportive therapy program is provided daily to stimulate patient’s freshly transplanted stem cells. The best improvement can only be obtain by supporting your stem cells.
  • Support
    A full follow-up program is provided after the treatment and you will be asked to take part in it at discharge and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Access to our team after the treatment is very important as you may receive further advice to maximize improvements.

Founded in July 2005, Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology is a national high-tech enterprise specialized in clinical transformation and technical service of biological treatment technology of strategic emerging industries.

beike-building-img