Objectives: To explore the clinical therapeutic effects and safety of autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell therapy for traumatic brain injury by lumbar puncture.
Materials and methods: A total of 97 patients (24 with persistent vegetative state and 73 with disturbance motor activity) who developed a complex cerebral lesion after traumatic brain injury received autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell therapy voluntarily. The stem cells were isolated from the bone marrow of the patients and transplanted into the subarachnoid space by lumbar puncture.
Results: Fourteen days after cell therapy, no serious complications or adverse events were reported. To a certain extent, 38 of 97 patients (39.2%) improved in the function of brain after transplant (P = .007). Eleven of 24 patients (45.8%) with persistent vegetative state showed posttherapeutic improvements in consciousness (P = .024). Twenty-seven of 73 patients (37.0%) with a motor disorder began to show improvements in motor functions (P = .025). The age of patients and the time elapsed between injury and therapy had effects on the outcomes of the cellular therapy (P < .05). No correlation was found between the number of cell injections and improvements (P > .05).
Conclusions: This study suggests that the bone marrow stem cell therapy is safe and effective on patients with traumatic brain injury complications, such as persistent vegetative state and motor disorder, through lumbar puncture. Young patients improve more easily than older ones. The earlier the cellular therapy begins in the subacute stage of traumatic brain injury, the better the results.