, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 137-148
Date: 19 Feb 2013

The Potential for Cell-Based Therapy in Perinatal Brain Injuries

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Abstract

Perinatal brain injuries are a leading cause of cerebral palsy worldwide. The potential of stem cell therapy to prevent or reduce these impairments has been widely discussed within the medical and scientific communities and an increasing amount of research is being conducted in this field. Animal studies support the idea that a number of stem cells types, including cord blood and mesenchymal stem cells have a neuroprotective effect in neonatal hypoxia–ischemia. Both these cell types are readily available in a clinical setting. The mechanisms of action appear to be diverse, including immunomodulation, activation of endogenous stem cells, release of growth factors, and anti-apoptotic effects. Here, we review the different types of stem cells and progenitor cells that are potential candidates for therapeutic strategies in perinatal brain injuries and summarize recent preclinical and clinical studies.