Cerebral palsy is a general term that describes a group of conditions that cause movement problems. The most common type is spastic cerebral palsy where the muscles are stiff and rigid in one or more limbs. The underlying problem is damage or faulty development in a part of the brain which usually occurs sometime before birth.
Jazmin suffers from Spastic Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia. This means that all four of her limbs are affected. She has severe quadriplegia and as a consequence she is unable to walk or even sit unaided. She is wheelchair bound and needs help with daily living tasks. Her real frustration lies in the fact that she has a generally good understanding of her surroundings but is unable to communicate this as even her speech is very limited. She is able to pronounce very limited words.
Cerebral Palsy is a "non-progressive" disorder. This means that the damage to Jazmin's brain is 'done' and it will not progress, unlike some other brain disorders of children. However the effect on her body is progressive. Despite regular physiotherapy the spasticity of Jazmin's muscles can have an increasing effect on her bones and joints, such as permanently fixed contractures of joints in her arms and legs.
The stem cells are first collected from the patientís bone marrow, extracted from the hipbone (iliac crest). This procedure is done under local anaesthetic and takes around 30 minutes.
These stem cells are then tested to strict criteria under sterile laboratory conditions. So long as the cleaned stems cells are of sufficient quantity and vitality they are then stored in liquid nitrogen at -196ļC then implanted back into the body days later. The method of reimplantation depends on the condition of the patient, although in Jazminís case would be by lumbar puncture into the cerebrospinal fluid.
These re-injected stem cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating damaged tissue. These innovative stem cell treatments use the self-healing potential of each patientís own body to stimulate regeneration or repair.
There is no guarantee for the success of stem cell therapy. Nevertheless every week the treatments offered by the Xcell Center achieve positive results and have helped many people beyond expectation. It is hoped that this treatment will be able to repair some of the damage caused to Jazminís brain as a baby.
The links below provide more
information regarding Jazmin's condition, and the Xcell Center in Germany
where Jazmin's parents hope to take her to undergo stem cell treatment.
This page was last updated Friday, 10 October 2008