Autism is a complex developmental disorder affecting social, language and behavioral skills.
The Sutter Neuroscience Institute in the United States is conducting a clinical trial investigating the potential of cord blood stem cells as a treatment option and assessing if it may assist with some of the symptoms of Autism.
Some of the facts:
- To date, Autism has no cure and has an increasing number of known cases.
- Diagnosis of Autism is up 23% since 2006 and 28% since 2002.
- In the United States, 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism.
- About 5 times more girls than boys are affected.
- Autism is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.
- The exact cause of Autism is unknown.
- 20% to 25% of children with Autism also have a known genetic syndrome.
- 75% to 80% of children with the condition have no known factors or causes of the condition.
Some possible causes of Autism may be genetic factors, immune system dysfunction, environmental factors or a combination of these or other factors.
The first Cord Blood Stem Cell clinical trial is being conducted in the Sutter Neuroscience Institute to investigate cord blood stem cells as a treatment option. This research was prompted by some evidence that suggests that some children with Autism have dysfunctional immune responses that may affect the normal development of the nervous system.
Research shows that a newborn’sumbilical cord blood stem cells have the ability to regulate the immune system and enhance the body’s own repair mechanism. Therefore infusion of a child’s own newborn stem cells may stimulate repair of the nervous system, potentially helping to improve language and some behaviors.
The lifesaving power of umbilical cord blood stem cells and the regenerative healing of cord tissue is no longer a secret. As stem cell treatments and research advance, more and more parents are opting to bank their newborn baby’s cord blood and tissue. Find out how stem cells are being used in medicine today.
Umbilical cord blood is the blood remaining in the cord after your baby has been born and the cord has been cut and clamped. It contains valuable stem cells that can be used in a variety of medical treatments such as regenerating the immune system after chemotherapy. Stem cells are known as ‘the building blocks of life’. They have the unique ability to become other types of cells in the body such as the blood, nerve cells, muscle, bone, and cartilage.
Why are umbilical stem cells so valuable?
Cord blood stem cells can only be collected at birth, so it is important to make the decision to do cord tissue storage several weeks before your due date.
Cord Tissue stored at birth have many advantages – they are readily available for your family if needed, they are considered to be the ‘youngest and freshest’ type of stem cell, and importantly there is a greater potential of a stem cell match between siblings.
Stem cells from the cord blood have been used for more than 20 years for the treatment of a number of disorders of the blood such as leukemia, lymphoma, and thalassemia, which previously had been treated with bone marrow.
The umbilical cord blood collection process
After the safe delivery of your child, your obstetrician or midwife cleans the umbilical cord (with the materials provided in the Cells4Life kit) and inserts the blood bag needle into the umbilical vein. The blood flows into the bag by gravity. The blood bag tubing is clamped, sealed and labeled to await courier collection. The whole process takes only a few minutes and causes no pain for mother or baby.