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Question: I am a parent of children, ages 2 and 5 with autism spectrum disorder. Do you think stem cell treatment would help and if so what kind of treatment would you suggest?Dr. Riordan's Answer: We are studying whether or not intraveno...us human umbilical cord expanded mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) will help children on the autism spectrum. In cooperation with Dr. Sandy Lowe in New York we are just completing a prospective analysis of 14 case series of autism patients who were treated with 4 series of umbilical cord MSCs. We are analyzing the data from those who have completed treatment at the moment. Those patients were treated serially on 4 occasions, 3 months apart with 4 IV infusion of donor UC MSCs. So far 7 of the patients have completed the trial, the other 7 are expected to finish by May of 2014.
Initial data back on suppression of the inflammatory cytokines that are very prominent in people with autism and the stop and reduction of the inflammatory cytokines can help with the disease process. Initial quantitative EEG data on each patient in the trial are also being analyzed. The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC—www.autism.com) scores are trending toward improvement in the cohort and are vastly improved in some individual cases. I will send the paper to Barbara when it comes out. We hope to submit for publication an article describing the effect of the cells by the middle of 2014.
For the person asking the question, as with anyone looking for medical advice for an individual (or individuals), I would suggest they contact our doctors and discuss the protocols with them to see if their children are candidates for treatment.