Research Reports - Umbilical cord stem cell transplantation significantly improves neurological function in patients with traumatic brain injury
Brain Res. 2013 Sep 26;1532:76-84
Wang S, Cheng H, Dai G, Wang X, Hua R, Liu X, Wang P, Chen G, Yue W, An Y
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of transplantation with
umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in patients with sequelae of traumatic
brain injury (TBI). The study hypothesis was that umbilical cord mesenchymal stem
cell transplantation could safely and effectively improve neurological function
in patients with sequelae of traumatic brain injury. Forty patients with sequelae
of TBI were randomly assigned to the stem cell treatment group or the control
group. The patients in the stem cell treatment group underwent 4 stem cell
transplantations via lumbar puncture. All patients of the group were also
evaluated using Fugl-Meyer Assessments (FMA) and Functional Independence Measures
(FIM) before and at 6 months after the stem cell transplantation. The patients in
the control group did not receive any medical treatment (i.e., neither surgery
nor medical intervention), and their FMA and FIM scores were determined on the
day of the visit to the clinic and at 6 months after that clinical observation.
The FMA results demonstrated an improvement in upper extremity motor sub-score,
lower extremity motor sub-score, sensation sub-score and balance sub-score in the
stem cell transplantation group at 6 months after the transplantation (P<0.05).
The FIM results also exhibited significant improvement (P<0.05) in the patient
self-care sub-score, sphincter control sub-score, mobility sub-score, locomotion
sub-score, communication sub-score and social cognition sub-score. The control
group exhibited no improvements after 6 months (P>0.05). All in all, the study
results confirmed that the umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell transplantation
improved the neurological function and self-care in patients with TBI sequels.
Umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell transplantation may be a potential treatment
for patients with sequelae of TBI. Further research, including a multicenter and
large sample size prospective randomized clinical trial, will be required to
define definitively the role of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell
transplantation on sequelae of TBI.