TRIAL LAUNCHED TO TEST STEM CELL APPROACH FOR PATIENTS WITH BRAIN INJURY

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A new clinical trial will gauge the safety and potential of treating children suffering traumatic brain injury with stem cells derived from their own bone marrow starting early next year at The University of Texas Medical School and Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital, both in Houston.

The Phase I trial is the first to apply stem cells to treat traumatic brain injury. It does not involve embryonic stem cells.

Unlike bone, muscle and other organs, the brain does not repair itself effectively. Traumatic brain injury victims can regain some function through rehabilitation. Studies show between 15 and 25 percent of children suffering severe traumatic brain injury die, and survivors of even moderate injury often are devastated for life.