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Neural stem cell-like cells derived from autologous bone mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of patients with cerebral palsy

Guojun Chen1, Yali Wang1, Zhenyu Xu2, Feng Fang1, Renmei Xu1, Yue Wang2, Xiaoli Hu2, Lixing Fan2 and Houqi Liu2*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Pediatrics, Zhejiang General Hospital of Armed Police Forces, 16 South Lake Road, Jiaxing City, 314000, China

2 Research Center of Developmental Biology, Second Military Medical University, 800 Xiangyin Road, Shanghai, 200433, China

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2013, 11:21  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-21

Published: 26 January 2013



Stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for cerebral palsy, which refers to a category of brain diseases that are associated with chronic motor disability in children. Autologous MSCs may be a better cell source and have been studied for the treatment of cerebral palsy because of their functions in tissue repair and the regulation of immunological processes.


To assess neural stem cell–like (NSC-like) cells derived from autologous marrow mesenchymal stem cells as a novel treatment for patients with moderate-to-severe cerebral palsy, a total of 60 cerebral palsy patients were enrolled in this open-label, non-randomised, observer-blinded controlled clinical study with a 6-months follow-up. For the transplantation group, a total of 30 cerebral palsy patients received an autologous NSC-like cells transplantation (1-2 × 107 cells into the subarachnoid cavity) and rehabilitation treatments whereas 30 patients in the control group only received rehabilitation treatment.


We recorded the gross motor function measurement scores, language quotients, and adverse events up to 6 months post-treatment. The gross motor function measurement scores in the transplantation group were significantly higher at month 3 (the score increase was 42.6, 95% CI: 9.8–75.3, P=.011) and month 6 (the score increase was 58.6, 95% CI: 25.8–91.4, P=.001) post-treatment compared with the baseline scores. The increase in the Gross Motor Function Measurement scores in the control group was not significant. The increases in the language quotients at months 1, 3, and 6 post-treatment were not statistically significant when compared with the baseline quotients in both groups. All the 60 patients survived, and none of the patients experienced serious adverse events or complications.


Our results indicated that NSC-like cells are safe and effective for the treatment of motor deficits related to cerebral palsy. Further randomised clinical trials are necessary to establish the efficacy of this procedure.

Cerebral palsy; Neural stem cell-like cells; Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; Cell therapy; Autologous transplantation