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October 2, 2018

Clarke SLP Co-Leads Study Indicating Cord Blood Cells May Improve Hearing in Children with Sensorineural Hearing Loss


October 2, 2018—In a recent study conducted at the Florida Hospital for Children, and co-led by Linda Baumgartner, MS, CCC-SLP, LSLS Cert. AVT, speech-language pathologist and auditory-verbal therapist at Clarke Jacksonville, preliminary findings suggest an improvement in hearing in children with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) treated with their own (autologous) umbilical cord blood cells.

This phase 1 pilot investigation was funded by CBR (Cord Blood Registry®, a newborn stem cell company) to determine the safety and initial effectiveness of infusions of autologous umbilical cord blood in 11 children diagnosed with acquired SNHL. (Acquired SNHL occurs after birth, as opposed to congenital SNHL, which occurs during gestation.)

Study findings also showed improvement in auditory brainstem response in 45% of the participants after the infusion. Study co-lead, Dr. James Baumgartner, MD and Pediatric Surgeon at Florida Hospital for Children, believes that the cord blood cells may also help spur regeneration of cilia in the inner ear.

"Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown, unique properties of the cord blood cellular components are believed to spur regeneration of the cilia (hair) and support cells within the cochlea," said Dr. Baumgartner.

Umbilical cord blood, or cord blood, is the blood remaining in the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born and the cord is cut. Because cord blood is very rich in stem cells, some families choose to store or donate this blood in the event it could be used in the future to treat certain conditions or diseases.

To learn more about the study, read CBR’s press release.