Introduction – Autism
Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Autism involves many parts of the brain. How it occurs is not well understood.
There is no cure for Autism. The main goals of treatment are to lessen associated deficits and family distress, and to increase quality of life and functional independence. No single treatment is best and treatment is typically tailored to the child’s needs.
Many medications are used to treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms that interfere with integrating a child into home or school when behavioral treatment fails. More than half of U.S. children diagnosed with ASD are prescribed psychoactive drugs or anticonvulsants, with the most common drug classes being antidepressants, stimulants, and antipsychotics.
The Cells4health Autism Stem Cell Treatment
Stem cell therapy for autism is a drug-free alternative focused on affecting physical changes in the brain that can improve an autistic child’s quality of life. These improvements usually translate into improved quality of life for their parents and siblings as well.
Recent follow-up statistics show that more than 70% of Autism patients showed improvement following stem cell therapy.
Autism patients are treated by injecting the stem cells into the bloodstream intravenously. Mannitol is administered to open the blood-brain barrier which allows the stem cells to reach the central nervous system.
IV-Mannitol is an outpatient procedure that requires patients to stay 4 or 5 nights.
Diagnostics, Physical and Cognitive Assessment
Before stem cell implantation, each patient undergoes blood tests at the clinic and a comprehensive physical and cognitive assessment. Baseline scores are calculated for Bernsden Standard Basic Functions, Barthel Index, Fruhreha Index and Modified Asworth Scale.
Step 1 – Bone Marrow Collection
After anesthesia counseling on the first day, the bone marrow is collected from the patient’s iliac crest (hip bone) using thin-needle mini-puncture under general anesthesia. The entire procedure normally takes about 30 minutes.
Because the bone marrow collection procedure requires patients to lie still, it is performed under general anesthesia for children and also for some adults (additional costs for adult anesthesia 1000€).
Once the bone marrow collection is complete, patients may return to their hotel and go about normal activities after a short recovery period in the clinic.
More detailed information on the bone marrow collection procedure is available in the Bone Marrow Informed Consent document (PDF file).
Step 2 – Laboratory Processing
The stem cells are processed from the bone marrow in a state-of-the-art, government approved (cGMP) laboratory. In the lab, both the quantity and quality of the stem cells are measured. These cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating or repairing damaged tissue.
Step 3 – Stem Cell Implantation
The stem cells are implanted back into the patient by lumbar puncture ando/ or intravenous administration (IV) with Mannitol.
A venous catheter is inserted into a vein in the right or left arm. Then the Mannitol is introduced over a 20 minute period. Mannitol is a safe, well-known drug that is used to open the blood-brain barrier in order to allow the passage of stem cells and other neurotropic factors into the brain and spinal canal. Next, the stem cells are slowly introduced into the catheter to allow them to thoroughly mix with the blood as they enter the body. No anesthesia is required for this procedure. However, anesthesia can be administered if necessary.
More detailed information on the IV-Mannitol procedure is available in the IV-Mannitol Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
A lumbar puncture is a puncture of the spinal canal using a fine needle, beveled at the front, in the lumbar region (lowest vertebrae of the back) of the spinal column for extracting spinal fluid (nerve or cerebral fluid). Lumbar punctures are primarily performed to diagnose for instance inflammatory disorders of the nervous system such as meningitis or multiple sclerosis. The extracted fluid, which is usually clear like water, in such cases is then examined in various ways in the laboratory.
During the LP for the stem cell therapy a volume of spinal fluid is extracted that is equivalent to the volume of your own stem cells intended for transplantation, so as little pressure difference as possible occurs in your spinal fluid space.
Changes in the pressure of the spinal fluid can cause headache. This pain is not dangerous and rarely lasts longer than 1 – 2 days, but the pain can be uncomfortable especially when getting up from a horizontal position due to the changing pressure ratios.
More detailed information on the LP procedure is available in the LP Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
Patients treated by lumbar puncture or IV-Mannitol may return home the day after IV treatment.
Autism Stem Cell Treatment Results
Follow-up statistics from 22 treated autism patients show that over 60% experienced improvements after stem cell therapy.
The mean age of the patients was 10 years, while the median age was 9.5 years. The oldest treated patient was 16 years of age and the youngest 5. There was no apparent correlation between positive outcome and the number of stem cells administered.
Overall, patients reported improvements in cognition, language, social contact, eye contact, coordination, motor skills and awareness.
Below is a summary of results in 4 patients who improved after treatment:
Patient #1 – (M) Age 6
- Improved cognition and sensory processing
- Patient can now climb onto the trampoline by himself, and play on it for about 20 minutes. Before the treatment, he screamed when the parents put him onto the trampoline.
- Improved attention span – He watched TV for 30 minutes. Prior to stem cell transplantation, his attention span was a few seconds to no longer than a minute.
- Meaningless play has reduced
The above improvements were confirmed by the patient’s doctor
Patient #2 – (M) Age 6 – Treated June 2009
- Hand and finger motor skill improvement
- Improved handwriting
- Improved speech
- Eating more independently
- Can now ride a bicycle without fear
- Improved ability to socialize with others
- Improved cognition
Patient #3 – (F) Age 16 – Treated July 2009
- Improved motor skills and coordination
- More confident
- Calmer at school
- Grades have improved – especially math
Patient #4 – (F) Age 11 – Treated January 2009
- Better behaved
- Decreased hyperactivity
- Less insomnia – patient can now sleep through the night
- Improved attention span
- Less frustrated
Lauren DiCorcia, 10 years old
“…In the past 6 weeks we have seen significant improvements in our daughter´s behaviors, focus, hyperactivity and insomnia…”
Treatment Evaluation Process
In order to be evaluated for treatment, patients must complete an online medical history form. Once you’ve completed the online medical history and submitted it, a patient relations consultant will contact you. He or she will assist you with the rest of the evaluation process. Upon treatment approval, your consultant will also assist you with treatment scheduling and trip preparation.