On 29 April 2015 the first clinical trial in Japan to treat an infant who suffered from lack of oxygen supply to the brain at birth with stem cells from the blood of the umbilical cord was carried out at Kurashiki Central Hospital. The treatment method was developed by a research team including Professor Haruo Shintaku of the Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. The treatment went well and the little patient left the hospital on 28 May 2015.
At the moment there is no good treatment of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (lack of oxygen supply to the brain at birth) available and it often results in death or cerebral palsy. Research will continue based on the good result of this first trial and the team will try to carry out more successful treatments to confirm the reliability of this method.