Autism is a neurobehavioral condition that is complex enough to cause impairment in social and communication skills. People with autism are found to be rigid and can have repetitive behaviors. Owing to this complex range of symptoms, autism now is called autism spectrum disorder or ASD. A large spectrum of symptoms comes under autism and the levels of impairment may also be different from person to person. Severity of the disease can range from having issues of inattention that prevents a person from leading a normal life to a devastating disability that may require admission to a rehabilitation centre.
Current therapies for the treatment of autism attempt to reverse these abnormalities through administration of antibiotics, anti‐inflammatory agents, and hyperbaric oxygen. In short, the presently available treatments for autism have only limited result in the overall management of symptoms and the outcomes are highly variable. However, the development of stem cell technology has brought in a sea change in treating children with autism. Moreover, stem cells have the potential to stimulate optimum functioning of glial cells, which in turn can boost up the repair of the damaged or weakened neurons, thus promoting improvement in impaired functions.
The behavioral challenges linked with autism disorder are often the outcome of aberrations in thinking and processing of the information. It is through a complete understanding of these impacts and the different thinking pattern of individuals affected with autism, experts have been able to frame and formulate better treatment approaches and strategies with the help of stem cells, which help people to have a better understanding and contribute to their overall development of the character.
The rationale behind treating autism with stem cells is that autism and its complications have been significantly related to inflammatory and neuro-inflammatory problems. Through intravenous administration of stem cells, significant development of the condition has been observed and it is done by a specialist trained in stem cell therapy.
Before analyzing different methods of treating autism using stem cells, let us first understand what stem cells are.
Stem cells are unique cells. What makes stem cells truly different is their ability to become many different types of cells, and they can replicate rapidly. Stem cells play a significant role in the body’s healing process and the introduction of new stem cells has shown remarkable improvement in the treatment of many disease conditions which hitherto were considered virtually incurable. The giant leap in treating diseases with the help of transplanted stem cells started after finding out how to isolate these stem cells.
Autism is mainly treated by using:
Bone marrow stem cells
Bone marrow stem cells:
Bone marrow is the soft, sponge-like material found inside bones. It contains immature cells known as hematopoietic or blood-forming stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells divide to form more blood-forming stem cells or they mature into one of three types of blood cells. They are:
White blood cells – protect us from infection
Red blood cells – carry oxygen
Platelets – help the blood to clot.
Most hematopoietic stem cells are found in the bone marrow, but some cells, called peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs), are found in the bloodstream. Blood in the umbilical cord also contains hematopoietic stem cells.
Not only autism, it has been found out that almost 80 diseases can be successfully treated with the help of stem cell transplant.
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