As a parent of an autistic child, you want to see your child live to their fullest potential. When a clinic offers stem cell therapy for autism, which seems like a miracle cure, you may want to immediately pursue it. You want to try anything that could help your child function better in the world.
Many clinics offer stem cell therapies to treat a range of conditions, including autism. While there is some important new medical research being conducted on how well stem cells work in mitigating symptoms of autism, none of these treatments have received FDA approval.
In 2020, these stem cell therapy treatments are not considered safe for children with autism.
Stem cell therapy is a new field in medicine that offers huge potential to treat conditions that have few other options.
However, there are questionable operations claiming to use stem cells to rejuvenate, improve, or even cure conditions that have no immediate cure. It can be difficult to know the difference between what is advertised as a legitimate medical treatment and what might actually be harmful for someone with a long-term condition like autism.
Stem cells are sometimes referred to as the bodys master cells because they are like a blank slate for creating new cells. Bones, organs, blood, and brain cells all start as stem cells.
In some instances, these cells might regenerate, restore, or even replace these tissues. This means that, when used in some medical treatments, stem cells have the potential to fix many underlying issues. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates stem cell products in the U.S.
The FDA has approved limited use of stem cells in treatments for some types of cancer or disorders of blood and bone marrow. As more stem cell treatments are tested in clinical trials in tightly controlled human studies, more conditions may appear to have prescribed stem cell treatments associated with them. While these clinical trials are very important and can help study participants, few of these clinical trials lead to cures or even therapies to manage the condition.
Before pursuing a clinic offering stem cell therapy, check whether the practitioners have received FDA approval for the treatment.
Autism is one of the conditions that could potentially one day benefit from stem cell treatments. This developmental disorder mainly impacts behavior, socializing, communication, and cognition.
Some anecdotal evidence exists that clinics offering unapproved stem cell treatments benefit people with autism; however, there is very little evidence through medical studies that this is possible. Currently, the best treatment for autism is behavior therapy like applied behavior analysis (ABA).
There are several clinics offering stem cell treatments for a range of conditions, including autism, joint pain from any source, and multiple sclerosis. The cells used in treatment tend to come from fat cells donated or sold after liposuction treatment.
Typically, these cells are autologous , meaning they are extracted from the patient to create the stem cell therapy and then infused back into the patient. Some clinics use bone marrow or umbilical cord tissues, which come from different donors who are not genetically related to the person receiving treatment.
While clinics report happy testimonials from people who undergo these therapies, it is important to note that many of the reported benefits are associated with conditions that have symptoms that fluctuate over time. For example, arthritis symptoms may come and go, with flareups of pain and inflammation persisting for several weeks or months and then going away as the condition temporarily goes into remission.
Children with autism tend to be diagnosed at a young age, often around 2 or 3 years old . It is well established that autistic children should receive evidence-based treatment like ABA therapy to reduce later problems with communication, cognition, and socializing. The efficacy of many new treatments for autism is unproven.
It can be difficult for medical studies into any therapy, including a new treatment like stem cell injections, to definitively know if improvements in symptoms are associated with the therapy or with natural developmental changes that can lead to improvements in autism symptoms as the child gets older. More research is needed to solidify conclusions, and currently, the research into stem cell therapy for autism is lacking.
There are concerns that companies may be preying on autistic parents , offering the hope of a cure for autism or a dramatic improvement in symptoms that just hasnt been proven. Some stem cell therapy companies charge tens of thousands of dollars for this treatment. Regulators warn that the treatments may be illegal, unsafe, and potentially harmful.
While parents should be wary of commercial stem cell therapy offerings, studies into the practice are ongoing.
As of a 2018 meta-survey , there were several clinical trials using stem cells to manage autism symptoms.
Overall Improvement With Potential for Adverse Effects
For example, one study followed 32 school-aged participants whose ages averaged about 10.5 years old. The group received bone-marrow-derived mononuclear cell (BMMNC) transplantation, which uses stem cells from blood. The protocol involved the intrathecal cellular therapy as well as other important therapies for autism, including occupational, sensory integration, psychological, dietary, and speech therapy.
During the course of the study, three participants developed seizures, and a small percentage of the group developed mild increases in hyperactivity as a result of the stem cell treatment. However, as a group, there were noted improvements in social relationships and reciprocity like smiling and eye contact; thinking, attention, and cognition; and speech and language patterns and usage. There was also a decrease in inappropriate emotional responses, self-stimulating behaviors, excitement or agitation for no clear reason, and exaggerated emotional responses.
While there were some adverse side effects, many improvements were also seen in the small group.
More Benefits for Nonverbal Children With Higher IQs
Another clinical trial examined a group of diagnosed autistic children between the ages of 2 and 7 to see if autologous umbilical cord blood (AUCB) transplantation could improve some autism symptoms. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups, with one receiving the stem cell transplant and the other receiving saline injections.
At a six-month follow-up, the group who received infusions had better socialization, communication, and adaptive behavior scores compared to the control group. The improvement was sustained at a one-year follow-up.
Unlike some other studies, nonverbal children with higher IQs seemed to benefit the most from this type of stem cell infusion. The researchers stated that the improvements could also be associated with natural development as the children entered preschool.
The Necessity of FDA Approval
There have been three other major stem cell studies involving children with autism, but they have all had a wide variance in the treatments used, study participants, how outcomes were measured, and even how the studies were designed.
More importantly, clinical trials do not prove that stem cell therapies work. Pursuing any that do not have FDA approval could cause harm to your child. Problems With Getting Stem Cell Therapy for Autism in 2020
While you want to do everything possible to help your child, there are some serious risks with attempting unapproved treatments like stem cell therapy. These risks remain even if the clinic is managed by medical personnel, has a good reputation, or appears clean.
If you participate in an unproven treatment that is not FDA-approved, like stem cell therapy, you could put your child at risk for:
Inflammatory conditions due to unfamiliar cells.
Skin irritation at injection sites.
Damage to the central nervous system when using lumbar punctures.
Because these clinics are not real medical clinics , they dont have licenses or oversight. You will not receive any health insurance coverage for these treatments as they are considered experimental.
These clinics are essentially boutique operations. They often charge a lot of money while falsely raising your hopes about the outcome. Parents suffer through grief and frustration when the treatment doesnt work, and they are left with a major financial setback.
The best way to help your child when they receive an autism diagnosis is to pursue evidence-based treatments that are recommended by your pediatrician and other specialists.
Treatment will most likely involve behavior therapy like ABA. This therapy has been shown over decades of practice and numerous medical studies to help people with autism manage behaviors associated with the condition. Speech therapy and occupational therapy are also commonly part of an autism treatment plan, depending on the severity of the disorder and the childs specific needs.
Complementary treatments like art therapy or music therapy can round out a treatment plan. These creative therapies help to improve behaviors, socializing, communication, and motor skills.
In 2020, there is no known cure for autism . While it can be tempting to pursue any therapy that is promising a miracle treatment, be aware that these claims are not based in science. Unfortunately, parents who pursue these false treatments are wasting money and experiencing immense stress.
There are ongoing clinical trials into the efficacy of stem cell therapy for autism, so well learn more about this possibility in the coming years. Until then, stick with therapies your treatment team recommends. This will ensure the safety and progress of your child.
- Co-founder Thomas Smeenk on the benefits of Hemostemix autologous stem cell therapy - InvestorIntel - January 12th, 2021
- Covid-19 Impact On Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020 Huge Potential in Future Growth by 2027 | Magellan, Medipost Co., Ltd, Osiris Therapeutics, Inc.,... - January 12th, 2021
- Adipose Derived Stem Cell Therapy Market Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2026 Coherent Market Insights | BioRestorative Therapies, Inc., Celltex... - January 12th, 2021
- New COVID-19 Treatment Uses Stem Cells - Freethink - January 12th, 2021
- Creative Medical Technology Holdings Files Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with FDA for Treatment of Stroke using ImmCelz Regenerative... - January 12th, 2021
- Global Cell Freezing Media for Cell Therapy Market 2020 Dynamics Analysis, Size Witness Growth Acceleration During 2025 - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - January 12th, 2021
- Gamida Cell to Present Full Data from Phase 3 Study of Omidubicel at TCT, the Combined Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and... - January 12th, 2021
- Cate Dyer of StemExpress is Named Businesswoman of the Year! - PRNewswire - January 12th, 2021
- Adocia Files Patent on a Hydrogel Scaffold for Cell Therapy in the Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes - Business Wire - January 12th, 2021
- Gene Therapy Market Estimated to Record Highest CAGR by 2024 - KSU | The Sentinel Newspaper - January 12th, 2021
- Stem cell treatment corrects skull shape and restores brain function in mouse model of childhood disorder - National Institutes of Health - January 9th, 2021
- Doctors Make Medical Breakthrough In Treating Severe Cases Of COVID - CBS New York - January 9th, 2021
- Global Stem Cell Therapy Market Report 2020: Market to Recover and Reach $14.76 Billion in 2023 at a CAGR of 19.62% - Forecast to 2030 - Yahoo Finance - January 9th, 2021
- Engineered stem cells that evade immune detection could boost cell therapy and I-O - FierceBiotech - January 9th, 2021
- BENEV Announces Investigative Report on Combination Treatment with Human Adipose Tissue Stem Cell- derived Exosomes and Fractional CO2 Laser for Acne... - January 9th, 2021
- Four promising COVID-19 therapies being tested at nearby UVA - Rappahannock News - January 9th, 2021
- MCL Landscape Adapts to Changes After CAR T-Cell Therapy Approval - OncLive - January 9th, 2021
- Regenerative Medicine Market to Reach Valuation US$ 23.7 Bn by 2027 - GlobeNewswire - January 9th, 2021
- Unlocking The Unlimited Potential Of Stem Cells - CodeBlue - January 9th, 2021
- Stem Cell Treatment Proving Highly Successful In Treating Most Severe Cases Of COVID - Yahoo News - January 9th, 2021
- Factor Bioscience spins out a new cell therapy player with eyes on the clinic within 2 years - Endpoints News - January 9th, 2021
- Comparison of the efficiency, safety, and survival outcomes in two stem cell mobilization regimens with cyclophosphamide plus G-CSF or G-CSF alone in... - January 9th, 2021
- Top 10 ALS Stories of 2020 - ALS News Today - January 9th, 2021
- Celularity and GX Acquisition Corp. Announce Merger Agreement to Create a Publicly Listed Leader in Allogeneic Cellular Therapy - BioSpace - January 9th, 2021
- Results Show Promising Efficacy in MCL With Next-Generation BTK Inhibitor LOXO-305 - Cancer Network - January 9th, 2021
- BlueRock Therapeutics in Collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Receives IND Clearance for DA01 in Parkinson's Disease - BioSpace - January 9th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product Types, And Applications Forecast To 2026 - Farming Sector - January 5th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy Market by Treatment,Application,End Users and Geography Forecast To 2027 - LionLowdown - January 5th, 2021
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Analysis, COVID-19 Impact,Outlook, Opportunities, Size, Share Forecast and Supply Demand 2021-2025 - Farming Sector - January 5th, 2021
- AGC Biologics Confirms Cell and Gene Therapy Commercial Expertise as Manufacturer of Orchard Therapeutics' Newly Approved Libmeldy - PRNewswire - January 5th, 2021
- Forge Biologics Announces FDA Clearance of Investigational New Drug Application for Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial (RESKUE) of FBX-101 Gene Therapy for... - January 5th, 2021
- MorphoSys and Incyte Announce the Acceptance of the Swissmedic Marketing Authorization Application f - PharmiWeb.com - January 5th, 2021
- Healthcare resource utilization and costs among patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma treated with proteasome inhibitors in... - January 5th, 2021
- Global Circulating Tumor Cells and Cancer Stem Cells Market To Reach A New Threshold of Growth By 2026 - The Courier - January 5th, 2021
- Catheters Market: Europe and North America Emerge as Leading Regional Market with Well-established Healthcare Infrastructure - BioSpace - January 5th, 2021
- The Worldwide Cell Isolation/Cell Separation Industry is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of 16.8% Between 2020 to 2025 - PRNewswire - January 5th, 2021
- Near-infrared oxidative phosphorylation inhibitor integrates acute myeloid leukemiatargeted imaging and therapy - Science Advances - January 5th, 2021
- Global Cell Therapy Market Report 2020: Market to Recover in 2023 - PRNewswire - January 3rd, 2021
- Lonza's Cocoon will soon make dozens of stem cell therapies all at once - Innovation Origins - January 3rd, 2021
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Derived Human Lung Organoids to Map and Treat the SARS-CoV2 Infections In Vitro - DocWire News - January 3rd, 2021
- Creative Medical Technology Holdings Announces Patent filing based on Preclinical Data in Model of Heart Attack using ImmCelz Regenerative... - January 3rd, 2021
- Haywards Heath carer trying to raise funds for MS treatment - The Argus - January 3rd, 2021
- Chronic graft-versus-host disease in children and adolescents with thalassemia after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation - DocWire News - January 3rd, 2021
- COVID-19-positive cancer patients undergoing active anticancer treatment: An analysis of clinical features and outcomes - DocWire News - January 3rd, 2021
- Cell Therapy Market 2020-2026 by Growth, Demand and Upcoming Business Opportunities - Farming Sector - January 3rd, 2021
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Stem Cell Therapy Market Latest Trends and Future Growth Study by 2029 - Farming Sector - December 31st, 2020
- Creative Medical Technology Holdings Announces Reversion of Liver Failure Using ImmCelz Personalized Cellular Immunotherapy in Preclinical Model -... - December 31st, 2020
- Impacts of COVID 19 on Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020 Size, Demand, Opportunities & Forecast To 2026 - Factory Gate - December 31st, 2020
- Efficacy and safety of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of patients infected with COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol -... - December 31st, 2020
- Global Stem Cell Therapy Market Industry 2021 In-depth Market Analysis and Recent Developments, Share, Revenue and Forecast 2025 | Anterogen Co. Inc.... - December 31st, 2020
- Nociceptive neurons shown to boost hematopoiesis | 2020-12-28 - BioWorld Online - December 28th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020: Demand Analysis, Key Players, Trends, Sales, Supply, Deployment Model, Segments, Organization Size, Production, Revenue... - December 28th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market (COVID-19 Analysis) 2020-2025 Is Booming Worldwide with Comprehensive Study Explores Huge Revenue Scope in Future - Farming... - December 28th, 2020
- Humanigen Secures US Patent for Lenzilumab in Preventing Cytokine Storm and Neurotoxicity Related to CAR-T Cell Therapy - BioSpace - December 28th, 2020
- Immunotherapy Continues on Positive Trajectory in Lymphoid Malignancies - OncLive - December 28th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Size 2020 | Opportunities, Regional Overview, Top Leaders, Revenue and Forecast to 2025 - LionLowdown - December 28th, 2020
- Adipose Derived Stem Cell Therapy Market 2020 Analysis, Growth, Size, Shares, Drivers, Advancements, Challenges, Sophisticated Demand & Key... - December 28th, 2020
- Stem cells from cord blood can now be used across many conditions: Mayur Abhaya, MD & CEO, LifeCell Internat.. - ETHealthworld.com - December 28th, 2020
- Comprehensive Report on NK Cell Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy Market 2021 | Size, Growth, Demand, Opportunities & Forecast To 2027 | Chipscreen... - December 28th, 2020
- The Top 5 Most-Read Oncology Stories of 2020 - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network - December 28th, 2020
- Adipose Tissue-derived Stem Cell Therapy Market Share Analysis, Application, Strategies of Key Players & Forecast to 2025 - Factory Gate - December 28th, 2020
- Study clarifies the impact of getting old on hematopoietic stem cells - Microbioz India - December 28th, 2020
- Report On Canine Stem Cell Therapy Market to 2026: (Industry Insights, Company Overview and Investment Analysis) - Farming Sector - December 24th, 2020
- Six Benefits of All-on-4 Implants Compared to Regular Dentures - Magazine of Santa Clarita - December 24th, 2020
- Allogeneic SCT Benefits Children and Adolescents With Relapsed Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma - OncLive - December 24th, 2020
- Stem cells in the brain remain active and divide over months - News Landed - December 24th, 2020
- Canine Stem Cell Therapy Market 2026 by Product Type, Applications, Manufacturers, Revenue, Price, Share and Growth Rate & Forecast -... - December 24th, 2020
- Exclusive Research on Stem Cell Therapy Products Market 2020 Segments, Regions, Strategy Analysis: Mesoblast, TiGenix, Osiris - LionLowdown - December 24th, 2020
- Heterogenous Nature of MDS Warrants Further Research, Review Finds - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network - December 24th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Shows 2-year Benefit for Progressive MS Patients in Phase 1 Trial - Multiple Sclerosis News Today - December 19th, 2020
- Dr Clarence Moore Discusses the Importance of Stem Cell Therapy, Heart Health in Beta Thalassemia - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network - December 19th, 2020
- For Patients With HMA-Resistant MDS, What Are Their Options? - AJMC.com Managed Markets Network - December 19th, 2020
- The Adrenomyeloneuropathy Treatment Market to grow on an emphatic note from 2019 to 2029 - PharmiWeb.com - December 19th, 2020
- Are Hiccups a Sign of the New Coronavirus? - Healthline - December 19th, 2020
- Every Patient Treated With CRISPR Gene Therapy for Blood Diseases Continues to Thrive, More Than a Year On - Good News Network - December 19th, 2020
- Therapeutic Solutions International Files Investigational New Drug Application (IND) with FDA for Treatment of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Using... - December 18th, 2020
- Physio Logic Brings Cutting-edge Regenerative Treatments for Sport Injuries and Arthritis to New York City - PRNewswire - December 18th, 2020
- AlloVir Announces FDA Clearance of Investigational New Drug Application for ALVR106, an Allogeneic, Off-the-Shelf, Multi-Virus Specific T Cell Therapy... - December 18th, 2020
- ONK Therapeutics Announces Three Exclusive Option License Agreements, Which Extend and Strengthen its Dual-Targeted NK Cell Therapy Pipeline -... - December 18th, 2020
- Mesoblast shares fall on trials mixed results with heart injection treatment - Stockhead - December 18th, 2020