Image of children autism puzzle - stem cell therapy for autism

Stem Cell Therapy for Autism

What is Autism?

Autism is a spectrum of disorders characterized by marked abnormalities in communication and social interactions. Two common consistent findings are associated in children with this disorder are diminished oxygenation in specific areas of the brain and a chronic immunologically mediated inflammatory condition in the gut.

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What is the scientific rationale behind using stem cells to treat autism?

Current investigative therapies for autism attempt to reverse these abnormalities through 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 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 the autistic patient may alleviate symptoms of autism.

Through administration of mesenchymal stem cells, we have observed improvement in patients treated at our facilities.

Stem Cell Therapy for Autism – In a parent’s own words:

Which types of stem cells are used to treat autism and how are they obtained?

The adult stem cells used to treat autism at the Stem Cell Institute come 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.

Dr. Riordan on the Umbilical Cord Selection Process at Stem Cell Institute

“Through retrospective analysis of our cases, we’ve identified proteins and genes that allow us to screen several hundred umbilical cord donations to find the ones that we know are most effective. We only use these cells and we call them ‘golden cells™’.

We go through a very high throughput screening process to find cells that we know have the best anti-inflammatory activity, the best immune modulating capacity, and the best ability to stimulate regeneration.”

Learn more about Golden Cells™

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.

  • 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.

Read the entire chapter on stem cell therapy for autism from Dr. Riordan’s book

Image of Book Cover for Stem Cell Thearpy - Rising Tide

For more detailed information about our autism treatments, we welcome you to read/download the entire chapter on stem cell therapy for autism from Dr. Riordan’s new book, Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide – How Stem Cells are Disrupting Medicine and Transforming Lives.  CLICK HERE (FREE PDF)

“Neil takes readers on a riveting journey through the past, present and future of stem cell therapy. His well-researched, educational and entertaining book could change your life. I highly recommend it.”Tony Robbins, NY Times #1 Bestselling Author

“100 years old will soon become the new 60. Stem cells are a key therapeutic to enable this future. Dr. Riordan’s book is your guide to why this is true and how you will benefit. A must read for anyone who cares about extending their healthy lifespan.”Peter H. Diamandis, MD; Founder, XPRIZE & Singularity University; Co-Founder, Human Longevity, Inc.; Author of NY Times Best Sellers Abundance and Bold

Our mesenchymal stem cells and the US FDA: Are they approved?

No stem cell product from any source, including the patient’s own, is approved by the US FDA to treat autism or any other common condition or disease.  From the FDA’s website, “FDA has approved only one stem cell product, Hemacord, a cord blood-derived product manufactured by the New York Blood Center and used for specified indications in patients with disorders affecting the body’s blood-forming system.” (FDA reference)

However, human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that were isolated and grown in our laboratory in Panama to create master cell banks are currently being used in the United States under US FDA regulation.

These cells serve as the starting material for cellular products used in MSC clinical trials for two Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patients under US FDA’s designation of Investigational New Drug (IND) for single patient compassionate use. (IND 16026 DMD Single Patient).

Will the patient reject this type of stem cell?

The body’s immune system is unable to recognize umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells as foreign and therefore they are not rejected. HUCT stem cells have been administered thousands of times at the Stem Cell Institute and there has never been a single instance rejection (graft vs. host disease).  As a matter of fact, allogeneic (not the patient’s own) mesenchymal stem cells are approved to treat graft vs. host disease in Canada and New Zealand.

Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells also proliferate/differentiate more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the fat and therefore, they are considered to be more “potent”.

In the words of an expert:

In this next video (just past the 1 minute mark), Arnold Caplan, PhD explains the mechanism by which donor mesenchymal stem cells shield themselves from the recipient’s immune system. Dr. Caplan is the scientist who discovered the mesenchymal stem cell. He is commonly referred to as “the father of the mesenchymal stem cell”.