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Neural Stem Cells May Help Repair Spina Bifida in Utero
Date:9/9/2008

Pilot animal study shows promising results in the treatment of a this congenital defect before birth

(Vocus) September 9, 2008 -- A pilot animal study led by researchers from http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1062/mainpageS1062P0.html [Children's Hospital Boston] provides preliminary evidence that delivering neural stem cells (NSC) into the spinal cord, along with surgical coverage of the defect while in utero, may help repair spina bifida before birth. The delivered cells engrafted selectively in the most damaged areas of the spinal cord, remained viable, and produced neurotrophic and neuroprotective factors locally, the first steps in initiating a reparative process. The findings appear in the September issue of the journal, Surgery.

http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1062/mainpageS1062P0.html [Spina bifida] is a condition in which a portion of the spinal cord and its surrounding structures develop outside, instead of inside, the body. The defect develops at around the fourth week of gestation and can occur anywhere along the spine. Children with spina bifida suffer from partial paralysis, urinary and fecal incontinence, and musculoskeletal deformities. The condition has an overall mortality rate of 14 percent at 5 years.

Fetal surgery to repair this defect has been available for over a decade; however, the outcomes have shown limited improvement on spinal cord function. Only now is a large multicenter clinical trial comparing fetal repair to postnatal closure underway.

The Children's Hospital Boston researchers hypothesized that the surgery needs to be augmented by tissue regeneration techniques.

Dario Fauza, MD, of the Department of Surgery and '/>"/>

Source: PRWeb
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