Autism is considered a complex developmental disability that’s characterized by challenges with repetitive behaviors, social skills, speech and nonverbal communication. It’s considered a spectrum condition because it affects individuals in many different ways and in varying degrees. For instance, approximately one third of individuals with autism have an intellectual disability and another one third are considered non-verbal.
Current Treatment Options
To date, there are no defined approaches to treat autism. As a result, most individuals receive behavioral interventions and medicines. Behavioral interventions for children usually involves the entire family and may start with a therapist coming into the home. There are other programs where the therapist goes to the classroom or a specialized center to provide sessions. It truly depends on the unique needs of the child.
The interventions will change as a child develops and learns different skills. Some school age children attend autism centers that provide specialized training, such as social skills. As they progress into the adolescent years, there are transition programs that help in teaching independence and job skills necessary for adulthood.
Medications are sometimes given to assist with medical conditions that are common in individuals with autism. Those who have seizures, gastrointestinal issues, and trouble sleeping are commonly prescribed medication.
Join our Stem Cell Discussion & Information Facebook Group today!
Stem Cell Therapy A Possible Solution
In the last decade, various studies have been done to determine if stem cell therapy would be useful in treating children with autism. However, many have trouble understanding the rationale behind doing such a procedure. While the cause of autism is still unknown, some findings have shown that children with this autism have diminished oxygenation in specific areas of the brain. They also have inflammation of the gut due to a possible imbalance of good and bad bacteria. Scientists believe that autism symptoms could be significantly improved by addressing oxygenation issues and enhancing gut health. And this is where stem cell therapy for autism comes in.
Umbilical Cord Tissue
Soon after, safety trials were funded and researchers found that not only was cord blood safe, but it also improved the behavior of 70% of children aged 2 to 6.
But Why Cord Blood?
Umbilical cord tissue is biologically younger and has the capacity to adapt better than adult stem cells from bone marrow. This results in a less complicated stem cell transplant and gives individuals the ability to use their own stem cells. At birth, their umbilical cord is collected immediately and preserved to protect them from aging. Umbilical cord blood presents the following benefits:
- Lowered risk of tumor formation
- Lowered risk of viral contamination
- It can differentiate itself into various cell types and,
- It has a high proliferation capacity
Calming An Overavtice Immune System
Some studies have shown that children with autism have certain characteristics in their blood work that suggests an elevated immune response. Umbilical cord stem cells are being seen as a way to calm an overactive immune system, which would also protect the developing brain of a young child with the condition.
Stem Cell Therapy For Autism Treatment Process
After harvesting the stem cells, they are then infused into the central nervous system intravenously. However, some treatment centers also do a lumbar puncture. Over a period of 4 days, children receive varying doses of stem cells and are stimulated to promote brain plasticity.
One great fear regarding stem cell therapy is the patient rejecting the stem cells. However, recent studies have shown that patients do not reject this type of stem cell because the body does not interpret it as foreign.
In the study done on children 2-6, there were some side effects, however. Two children became extremely agitated after infusion and four others had an allergic reaction. Despite the initial side effects, all children had stastically significant behavioral improvement after 6 months after the injection.
Download our free Stem Cell 101 educational report today!
Stem Cell Therapy Clinics
If you or someone you know is interested in stem cell therapy for autism, then it’s very important that you do your research first. Although there are clinical trials going on to test the safety and effectiveness of stem cell therapy for autism, there are no FDA approved treatments available yet. Those interested in stem cell therapy for their children with autism have to go out of the country.
Be aware that some of these “stem cell clinics” are fraudulent and are looking to take advantage of vulnerable people. To avoid this, ask the clinic about their criteria. Legit clinics are very selective about who they choose to serve, whereas fraudulent ones don’t care as long as you have money. Also, if the procedure is not being performed by doctors, then don’t move forward. Look for clinics that have reputable scientific literature and not just those with tons of patient testimonials. Unfortunately, some patient testimonials are false and misleading.
The Future of Stem Cell Therapy For Autism
With the prevalence rate of autism rising and the lack of knowledge regarding why, researchers are busy trying to discover the cause and cure. Stem cell therapy has saved the lives of many for various other conditions, so researchers are hopeful that a cure lies ahead for autism.