SAN FRANCISCO, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Newborn Possibilities Fund, a grantmaking program established by Cord Blood Registry (CBR), today announced it will provide its first-ever grant to the Georgia Health Sciences University Foundation. The university's medical center is conducting the first FDA-regulated clinical trial evaluating cord blood stem cells as a medical intervention for cerebral palsy. The grant will provide financial support to help curb travel and other expenses for families with a child participating in the trial.
The study will include 40 children, ages 1 to 12 and will begin with a neurological exam. Then, half of the study participants will receive an infusion of their own cord blood while the other half receives a placebo. Three months later, the children will be evaluated without physicians knowing which group received the stem cell infusion. Afterward, children who didn't get their cord blood initially will receive an infusion. Children in the study will return three and six months later for evaluation, where researchers will assess their motor skills and neurological development.
"This is a very well-designed clinical study that will provide new insights into the potential of cord blood stem cells to help children recover from nerve tissue damage to the brain," said Heather Brown, vice president of scientific and medical affairs at CBR. "However, the study design requires a family to make trips at their own expense to the study center. The goal of The Newborn Possibilities Fund is to remove financial barriers that may prevent eligible children from participating in this cutting-edge research and receiving investigational treatments that may improve their quality of life."