In a May publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers successfully used umbilical cord stem cells as therapeutic treatment. Children born with Krabbe’s disease have a defect in a lysosomal enzyme resulting in lipid substrate buildup in the brain ultimately leading to neurological disorders and death. Newborns with a family history of Krabbe’s disease, and babies that already showed signs of the disease were treated with umbilical stem cells from unrelated donors. These results showed significant improvement in neurological function to near normal levels in the newborn group treated before signs of disease were evident. These data represent a significant breakthrough for therapeutic stem cells derived from umbilical cords.
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