Stem Cell Treatment for Ataxia (A New Hope For Ataxia Patients)

Stem cell therapy - michaelmantz ataxia blog2

Marth’s website: and Post Published: December 12, 2022

Ataxia is a neurological condition that occurs in children and adults. In fact, 26 out of 100,000 children are afflicted with this condition. Despite this high prevalence rate, there is still no cure for this disease. Even medicines are not very successful in slowing the progression of symptoms. But there is finally a light at the end of this hopeless tunnel. A brand-new treatment, stem cell therapy, has shown immense promise in reversing ataxia symptoms. Intrigued? Read on to know more!

Overview of Ataxia

Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system that is caused by damage to the cerebellum. 

It has three major causes:

  • Acquired (alcohol, vitamin deficiency of vitamins, infections)
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Hereditary causes

Some symptoms of this condition are:

  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of coordination
  • Trouble eating and swallowing
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Deterioration of fine motor skills

There are several types of ataxia, which can be broadly classified as:

  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Sensory ataxia
  • Vestibular ataxia

To diagnose this condition, your neurologist will first take a detailed medical history, followed by a thorough neurological examination.

So far, no cure has been found for this condition. Doctors advise a combination of medication and therapy to keep the symptoms in check.

However, a brand-new treatment has given researchers some hope for a potential cure—stem cell treatment.

Stem Cell Treatment for Ataxia

Is this the first time you’re hearing about stem cells? 

Stem cells are immature cells found in our bodies that can differentiate into any tissue.

These stem cells are found in several parts of our bodies including our bone marrow, adipose tissue, and even our circulating blood.

Doctors typically employ bone marrow-derived stem cells for treating ataxia. A few studies have also used umbilical stem cells for this purpose successfully. 

In most cases, researchers prefer to use the patient’s own stem cells. Nevertheless, for specific instances of degenerative causes, donor stem cells are the preferred option.

It should be noted here that stem cell therapy is still undergoing clinical trials and is not yet approved by the FDA.

Stem Cell Therapy for Ataxia Clinical Trials

Several stem cell ataxia trials are currently underway around the world. Since they are fairly new, the available data is not yet collated properly.

One research paper by Yun-An Tsai et al reviewed numerous trials. They concluded that larger randomized trials are still required to study the long-term effects of stem cell therapy for ataxia, but it is still a very promising treatment.

They also believe stem cell treatment has the potential to cure ataxia one day. Additionally, they stated that this procedure is absolutely safe and no patients showed any side effects.

Does Stem Cell for Ataxia Work?

The short answer is yes, it does.

Curious to know how does it work? 

Well, stem cells have many beneficial properties which can treat ataxia:

  • Neurotrophic benefits: Stem cells have the ability to repair and regenerate new nerve cells. They also re-establish damaged nerve connections, improving coordination.
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits: Stem cells produce anti-inflammatory factors, preventing the relapse of the condition.
  • Neuroprotective benefits: Stem cells protect the newly formed nerve cells and synapses, ensuring the continued improvement of ataxia symptoms.

 Benefits/Risks of Stem Cell Therapy for Ataxia

Like every medical procedure, ataxia stem cell treatment also has its risks and benefits.

Relatively non-invasive procedure Abundantly available stem cells Only treatment that repairs nerve cells Is a potential cure Provides long-term benefitsRisk of infection at the site of injection Possibility of graft-versus-host disease if donor cells are used Possibility that the treatment might not work

To continue reading this article, please go to Martha’s website: and the original post here.

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2 Responses
    1. Hi Zeena, thank you for the reply. In the article from Martha, it says “It should be noted that stem cell therapy is still undergoing clinical trials and is not yet approved by the FDA”. It is not scientifically proven and you should talk to your own individual medical professional. Our article is just giving people some knowledge.

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