Each Chicago brain injury attorney at our firm has followed closely as research efforts into traumatic brain injuries have seen a new wave of life. This is likely due to a combination of factors. On one hand, medical professionals are slowly learning more and more about the actual long-term harm of certain injuries-like concussions-that were previously thought to be less severe. In addition, a large number of American service members are returning from fights in Iraq and Afghanistan with severe head and brain injuries. Many are rightly worried that these returning soldiers need to have access to viable treatment options that can help relieve some of the symptoms of their injuries.
Beyond treatment options for adults, an entirely different line of traumatic brain injury research is looking at helping the youngest victims-those who suffer head trauma in the first few months (or years) of life. For example, the San Bruno Patch reported this week on a new line of research being funded by the Federal Drug Administration’s stem cell research project. The effort involves partnerships between a private company that collects umbilical cord stem cells and university medical research bodies.
The company, Cord Blood Registry, has been collecting the umbilical cord blood from mothers of newborns for the past few years. The hope is that these stem cells can be used to help correct a wide range of problems that affect children at birth or shortly thereafter. Specifically, this latest project involves tackling three different problems-cerebral palsy, hearing loss, and traumatic brain injuries.
The traumatic brain injury part of the research effort will be spearheaded by medical professionals affiliated with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. With help from the stem cells collected by the private company, the researchers will create treatments for a trial group of ten children being cared for by the children’s hospital. Each of those children suffered a severe brain injury within a year and a half of their birth. As part of the research effort, the children will be given the stem cell treatment-these are their own stem cells taken from their mother’s umbilical cord shortly after their birth. The participants will then be monitored closely along a range of factors throughout the testing process to gauge how the treatments affect the children-if at all.
The Illinois traumatic brain injury attorneys will be following this line of research closely to see if there are any positive develops. It would not be an understatement to say that these stem cell trials are some, if not the, most anticipated research efforts which may one day lead to complete cures for these ailments. As the head researcher of the private company involved in the effort explained, “the benefits of cord blood stem cells being very young, easy to obtain, unspecialized cells which have had limited exposure to environmental toxins or infectious disease and easy to store for the long terms without any loss of function, make them an attractive source for cellular therapy researchers today.”
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