Cord Blood to Treat Autism & Other Brain Disorders: New Studies Launching at Duke
Duke Medicine is leading the way in cord blood research as their team of specialist prepare to undertake major studies to explore the use of umbilical cord blood to treat autism, stroke, cerebral palsy and related brain disorders. The group was just awarded $15 million from the Marcus Foundation to support this research.
As stated by Duke Medicine News and Communications, . . .
The award from The Marcus Foundation, an Atlanta-based philanthropic organization, will fund the first two years of a planned five-year, $41 million project by Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, chief scientific and medical officer of Duke’s Robertson Cell and Translational Therapy Program, and Geraldine Dawson, PhD, director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Scienes.
A leader in cord blood research, Dr. Kurtzberg serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of Save the Cord Foundation and has participated in our Share the Science Series with Mediware.
Regarding this study, Dr. Kurtzberg was quoted saying. . .
“The whole program has enormous potential,” said Kurtzberg, who is also director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank. “Autism, stroke and cerebral palsy are all neurologic conditions that impair function and quality of life for these children and adults. If we can make that better, it will have a huge personal and societal impact.”
According to the article, the study itself will involve a variety of participants. . .
The project will consist of a series of clinical trials using umbilical cord blood cells to treat a total of 390 children and adults with autism, 100 children with cerebral palsy and 90 adults with stroke. Based on previous research, Kurtzberg and Dawson hypothesize that cord blood may promote repair of dysfunctional or damaged areas of the brain.
We are so happy to see that research to use cord blood to treat autism and other brain disorders is getting the funding it needs. We look forward to learning more!