Parents of 25 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report that their children showed reduced signs of ASD after a recent stem cell treatment. The children received infusions of their own stem cells from banked umbilical cord blood as part of a clinical trial.
ASD-related behaviour reduction
The children (aged between two and five years) had no apparent lasting adverse effects after one year. Reduction in ASD-related behaviour was measured by questioning the parents and by clinician-administered tests.
A similar study led by Dr Michael Chez, director of Paediatric Neurology at the Sutter Institute, California in 2016 involved 30 children and reported a similar percentage of improvement.
Dr Chez discusses his findings in the video below and outlines the reasons for his optimism that cord blood has the potential to treat a range of childhood disorders.
Next steps for cord blood autism treatments
The team involved in the latest trial, led by Dr Geraldine Dawson and Dr Joanne Kurtzberg, are now running a second, larger trial on cord blood autism treatments. The double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will involve 165 autistic children aged between two and eight years old and will be overseen by the US Food and Drug Administration.