Neonatal stroke occurs in approximately 1 out of 4000 live births and results in lifelong neurological impairments such as cerebral palsy, but there are currently no evidence-based specific treatments for neonates with stroke. A growing number of studies have reported the benefits of cell-based therapies in rodent models of neonatal brain injury. However, the vast majority of evidence has come from studies in rodent models of hypoxia–ischemia, and there are only four studies in models of neonatal stroke. These studies used neural stem cells, umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), UCB-derived cluster of differentiation (CD) 34<Superscript>+</Superscript> cells, and bone marrow-derived MSCs. The evidence from these studies is too preliminary to draw conclusions about what would be an optimal protocol for clinical use of cell therapies against neonatal stroke in human infants. Nevertheless, those four studies suggest that cell therapies have potential to exert neuroprotective effects even though cells are administered hours or days after brain injury. There are no clinical studies exclusively focusing on neonatal stroke at either acute or chronic phase of the disease. However, several clinical trials are underway in human newborns with hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy and in children with cerebral palsy. More preclinical studies in neonatal stroke are warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)