Understanding Stem Cell Therapy For Autism
Many individuals have autism. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of this disorder seems to be increasing globally. Autism is a range of conditions that begins in childhood and may persist into adulthood.
Through the years, researchers have conducted countless studies to find treatment for autism. One therapy that continues to be a topic of many research studies is stem cell treatment. You might be wondering how does stem cell therapy work for autism, and if it can help.
Autism can limit a child’s capacity to conduct daily activities. It can also have an impact on the social and educational aspects of a person’s life. Some people who have autism can move and live independently. However, there are more severe cases wherein the patient needs lifelong support. Another negative impact of this disorder is the emotional burden on the person who has it and the possible economic burden on their families.
Parents want what is best for their children. If it means trying out new treatments, then they would try it. Stem cell therapy provides an alternative that you can try to help your child who has autism.
The idea of using stem cell treatment for autism started with the treatment of cerebral palsy. Meanwhile, stem cell transplants for some metabolic disorders have prompted the study for cerebral palsy.
From 1995 to 2007, a team at Duke University did over 100 cord blood transplants. The subjects were children who have rare metabolic disorders that lead to cognitive or physical impairment and death if left untreated. The results of the study showed that we can now use cord blood transplants to save patients. The positive results include the improvement and the stopping of the decline of cognitive function.
Because of this, many have thought that similar treatment may be able to help those who have neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and cerebral palsy. Unlike in the treatment of metabolic disorders, children with neurodevelopmental disorders do not have to undergo chemotherapy. However, they may have to receive pre-treatment that aims to prevent any allergic reaction.
Stem cell treatment for cerebral palsy patients was a success. Thus, it has inspired the use of the same therapy for other conditions like autism.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work for Autism?
Studies have shown that there is no single cause for autism. Experts and professionals believe that a large number of factors can cause it. Despite this, the world of science has gone a long way.
You may have heard of stem cell therapy, but you may not be aware that it can work for autism. Generally, stem cells replace the cells in a patient’s body that are not working well with cells that can function properly. Inflammation is among the main symptoms found in autism patients. Stem cells can reduce inflammation. Thus, replacing unhealthy cells with healthy ones can help promote the proper functioning of one’s immune system. In turn, it can help reduce the effects of autism.
To treat autism using stem cells, experts harvest them from the umbilical cord tissue. It is also known as allogenic mesenchymal. Mothers who have had normal and healthy births may donate these human umbilical cords. Experts screen and test them for the possible existence of viruses and bacteria.
These cords are ideal for autism treatment because they allow the administration of uniform doses. They also do not require the harvesting from the patient himself. Some parents are concerned about this and think it can be an invasive procedure to the body of their child with autism.
Another procedure that experts can do is the transplantation of bone marrow stem cells. The patient will be under general anesthesia while the surgeon collects bone marrow from the patient’s ileum bone. The medical professional will take around 50 to 100 ml of bone marrow. After this, they will separate the mononuclear cells.
Generally, most autism treatment processes take around five days. It includes a physical examination and blood tests.
Finding Treatment Facility
Some parents are having a hard time finding a place where they can get stem cell treatment for their child with autism. Access to the treatment may not be as good for some people. That is why others tend to look for medical facilities that offer the treatment even in other countries.