Cord blood may be the answer to parents’ prayers. Experts say that babies with rare inherited diseases like Hurler Syndrome may be spared permanent brain damage if they received umbilical cord blood transplant before they are 9 months old. This emphasizes the need for early detection and diagnosis.
While affected children may not show symptoms until age 3, the brain undergoes damage before symptoms appear. The transplantation of umbilical cord blood from unrelated donors has been show to improve neurological outcomes of children older than 2 years of age and prolong life.
Present in the transplanted cord blood are Hematopoietic stem cells which provide a source for the normal enzyme that is donated to the deficient cells decreasing the increase in gycosaminoglycans.
Click here to read more about how cord blood can protect a baby’s brain from Hurler Syndrome.