News

Autism Rates Are Rising
For a long time people thought more kids were being identified with autism because of better screening. It is now clear that the rate of autism really is rising. The latest CDC numbers released this week show 1 in 68 kids age 8 in the US have autism. For boys the statistic is 1 in 42. Most of us know a child or adult who is on the autism spectrum. What we don't know is what causes autism. However, one clinical trial is testing cord blood stem cells as a therapy for autism.
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New Cerebral Palsy Trial at U. Texas
The FDA has approved a new clinical trial at the U. of Texas that will run a head-to-head comparison of two different stem cell treatments for Cerebral Palsy: treatment with the child's own cord blood versus the child's own bone marrow. This is the first trial ever to compare cord blood versus bone marrow for Cerebral Palsy therapy.
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Key Nurse Leaders article
Frances Verter, PhD, and Kim Petrella, RN, of the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation have contributed an article on "Umbilical Cord Blood Collection" that is written for nursing staff at hospital-based labor and delivery units. Key Nurse Leaders is a national executive search firm focused exclusively on hospital-based women's and children's nursing leadership.
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How to donate cord blood
Everything you need to know about how to donate your baby's cord blood: Why, What, Where, and When. We have the only searchable map of hospitals in the United states that collect cord blood donations.  Plus, we list programs that accept cord blood by mail-in donation from throughout the continental states.We cover both those programs that participate with the NMDP, as well as those that operate outside their network.
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Genetic Counselor joins our Panel
There is a natural synergy between consumer education on the topics of genetic testing and cord blood banking. S. Bonnie Liebers, MS CGC, is a board certified genetic counselor who has joined the Advisory Panel of the Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation. Many families think they should store cord blood privately in case it is needed to treat diseases that seem to run in their family. Consumers need help to evaluate what is currently known about their genetic risk, as well as what can potentially be treated with cord blood therapies, and whether those therapies would actually use their own cord blood or would rely on donated cord blood.
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Can cord blood alleviate autism?
The FDA has approved the first ever clinical trial that gives children infusions of their own cord blood stem cells as therapy for autism. The lead investigator is Dr. Michael Chez, director of pediatric neurology at the Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento. Autism spectrum disorders now affect about one in 88 children nationwide, and the diagnosis has increased over 20% in recent years. The autism study, in partnership with the family cord blood bank Cord Blood Registry, will recruit 30 patients over the next year.
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Check out our Newsletter
We now have a Newsletter written by expert guest authors. We try to cover topics that are of concern to expectant parents, like "Why is cord blood banking so expensive?", or medical issues that occur during pregnancy like diabetes and preeclampsia. Every month we feature a different charity that either promotes cord blood banking, or advocates for patients who have medical conditions that can be treated with cord blood, such as Cerebral Palsy or Sickle Cell Disease.  Finally, we have a monthly contribution from a prominent doctor or scientist about new applications of stem cells. Some research topics we have covered are spinal cord injury and gene therapy.
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The Family Cord Blood Banking Act
The Family Cord Blood Banking Act (HR 1614) was introduced to the US Congress by Reps. Wally Herger (R-Calif.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.). The bill had the bipartisan support of 37 members of Congress by summer 2012. This important legislation would amend the IRS Code to allow individuals and couples to treat cord blood banking services as an IRS-qualified medical expense. This would enable families in any tax bracket to pay cord blood banking fees with tax-free dollars from a flexible spending account, health savings account, health reimbursement arrangements or under the medical expenses tax deduction.
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27 US states have cord blood education laws
During the summer of 2011, Florida and Missouri both passed state laws to educate expectant parents about cord blood banking, plus they have both adopted educational materials developed by this Foundation. This brings the total number of states with cord blood education bills to 27, covering 81% of US births. Of those, 4 states only require education about cord blood donation, while 23 states follow the federal Institute of Medicine guidelines that call for parent education about all options for their child's cord blood.  Parent's Guide to Cord Blood Foundation has been adopted as an educational resource by the Dept. of Health in 5 states: FL, OH, MO, ND, and VA. 
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