About Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Autism is a spectrum of disorders characterized by marked abnormalities in communication and social interactions. Two common consistent findings are associated with children with this disorder are diminished oxygenation in specific areas of the brain and a chronic immunologically mediated inflammatory condition in the gut.
What is the scientific rationale behind using stem cells to treat autism?
Current investigative therapies for autism attempt to reverse these abnormalities through the administration of antibiotics, anti‐inflammatory agents, and hyperbaric oxygen. Unfortunately, none of these approaches address the root causes of oxygen deprivation and intestinal inflammation.
The rationale behind treating autism with umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells is that autism, and its degree of severity has been significantly correlated with inflammatory and neuro-inflammatory cytokines including macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC). Intravenous administration of umbilical cord MSCs has been shown in multiple clinical trials to decrease inflammation. Decreasing inflammation in autistic patients may alleviate symptoms of autism.
Through the administration of mesenchymal stem cells, we have observed improvement in patients treated at our Institute.
Which types of stem cells are used to treat autism and how are they obtained?
UCSC used to treat autism at Renovation Stem Cell Institute comes from human umbilical cord tissue (allogeneic mesenchymal). Umbilical cords are donated by mothers after normal, healthy births. Before they are approved for treatment all umbilical cord-derived stem cells are screened for viruses and bacteria to International Blood Bank Standards.
Umbilical cord-derived stem cells are ideal for the treatment of autism because they allow our physicians to administer uniform doses and they do not require any stem cell collection from the patient, which for autistic children and their parents, can be an arduous process. Because they are collected right after (normal) birth, umbilical cord-derived cells are much more potent than their “older” counterparts like bone marrow-derived cells for instance. Cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells pose no rejection risk because the body does not recognize them as foreign.
What are the advantages of treating autism with allogeneic umbilical cord tissue-derived stem cells?
-Since HUCT mesenchymal stem cells are immune system privileged, cell rejection is not an issue and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary.
The stem cells with the best anti-inflammatory activity, immune modulating capacity, and ability to stimulate regeneration can be screened and selected.
-Allogeneic stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days in uniform dosages that contain high cell counts.
-Umbilical cord tissue provides an abundant supply of mesenchymal stem cells.
No need to collect stem cells from the patient’s hip bone or fat under anesthesia, which especially for small children and their parents, can be an unpleasant ordeal.
-There is a growing body of evidence showing that umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells are more robust than mesenchymal stem cells from other sources.
-No need to administer chemotherapy drugs like granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF or GCSF) to stimulate the bone marrow to produce granulocytes and stem cells and release them into the bloodstream.