Since 2004, our department started treating infantile cerebral palsy, and till the end of 2016, we have treated 8015 patients, including 4354 patients with spastic type (54.32%), 2512 patients with mixed type (31.34%), 938 patients with athetoid type (11.71%) and 211 patients with other types (2.62%). The total improvement rate is 96%. Many patients already have apparent treating effect during their hospitalization: reduction of abnormal muscular tension (stem cell transplantation is very effective to reduce the muscular tension), better speech function (can speak more clearly, and have more active speech), better motor function (can raise the head upright with longer time, sit more steadily, holding things with more flexible hands and being able to coordinate in walking.), better physical fitness, sleep well and have better appetite. According to our follow-up data, most patients keep improving slowly after the surgery. Our treatment is accepted by many patients and their family members, and a lot of patients already received second, third or even forth course of transplantation and each course can improve patient’s condition in different ways.
The effect of treatment is closely related to the condition of cerebral injury, type of cerebral palsy, and age of the patient. The younger patient is, the better treatment effect would be. The effects of treating spastic type, mixed type and athetoid type cerebral palsys are the best, and other types such as ataxia cerebral palsy are less effective. In addition, everybody has his or her own reaction toward stem cell, so we are still having further study on this to improve our treating effect.
In a word, stem cell transplantation is effective and safe to infantile cerebral palsy, and it is the most effective treatment now. the effect of treatment would be even better if patients practice proper and systematic rehabilitation excises after the transplantation.
1. The breakthrough of treating older patients with cerebral palsy. Since we extend the age limit of treating cerebral palsy, the oldest patient we have now is 42 years old, and the youngest patient is one month after birth. Besides the stem cell transplantation via lumbar puncture which we usually use, for the older cerebral palsy patient, we are using implantation via stereotactic brain surgery to inject stem cells into the target area in patient’s head to treat the disease.
2. Autologous stem cell transplantation leads to great treating effect. Since 2007, we have been using patient’s bone marrow stem cell for autologous stem cell transplantation. This method is safer and can avoid the problem of rejection and ethical issues. According to the follow-up data of recent years, autologous stem cell transplantation is very effective and it is becoming the main method we are using to treat cerebral palsy patient of young age group (younger than 6 years old).