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Autism

Autism is known as a complex developmental disability. Experts believe that Autism presents itself during the first three years of a person's life. The condition is the result of a neurological disorder that has an effect on normal brain function, affecting development of the person's communication and social interaction skills.

People with autism have issues with non-verbal communication, a wide range of social interactions, and activities that include an element of play and/or banter.

ASD stands for Autism Spectrum Disorder and can sometimes be referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Autism and ASD mean the same. ASDs are any developmental disabilities that have been caused by a brain abnormality. A person with an ASD typically has difficulty with social and communication skills.

A person with ASD will typically also prefer to stick to a set of behaviors and will resist any major (and many minor) changes to daily activities. Several relatives and friends of people with ASDs have commented that if the person knows a change is coming in advance, and has time to prepare for it; the resistance to the change is either gone completely or is much lower.

Stem cell transplantation is a chance for cure

Stem cells are primal cells that can divide and differentiate to become like any other more specialized cells in your body. The three types of stem cells are embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells and cord blood stem cells.

Why use stem cells for children with autism?

Children with autism suffer from two major conditions:

1. Hypoperfusion

2. Immune dysregulation

Hypoperfusion is decreased blood flow to the brain, meaning that the brain does not receive enough oxygen and cannot function normally.

Any time there is not enough blood flowing to the brain, the brain cells become inflamed and make more nitric oxide. This opens up the cells to receive too much calcium, which damages the mitochondria (that make the energy for cells). As a result, the brain cells die from lack of food.

Immune dysregulation in children with autism means that their immune systems do not respond normally to stimulation. When the body signals to the immune system that it needs help (like when the brain becomes inflamed) the proper immune response and subsequent healing do not occur in children with autism.

Instead, children with autism often have continually suppressed immune systems, chronic inflammation and suffer from autoimmune responses. An autoimmune response happens when your body does not recognize your cells as your own and actually attacks the good cells. Autoimmune disorders include Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis, in addition to autism.

Immune dysregulation is very apparent in the gastrointestinal health of children with autism. Most suffer from symptoms ranging from diarrhea, gas, and bloating to intestinal lesions and inflammation of their gastrointestinal system. Two kinds of stem cells can specifically address the hypoperfusion and immune dysregulation that are characteristic of children with autism.

Theoretically, it is conceivable that reversing hypoxia may lead to activation of self-repair mechanisms. Such neural proliferation is seen after reperfusion in numerous of cerebral ischemia. However, to our knowledge, the use of stem cell therapy to stimulate angiogenesis has been widely-used for the treatment of autism.

Cord blood stem cell has been used successfully for stimulation of angiogenesis in various models of ischemia. The CD34+, CD11b+ fraction, which is approximately less than half of the CD34+ fraction of cord blood stem cell was demonstrated to possess the ability to differentiate into endothelial cells. VEGF-R3+, CD34+ cells demonstrated the ability to differentiate into endothelial cells and were able to be expanded 40-fold expansion.

Cord blood stem cells is sufficient to induce neuroregeneration. Given the potency of cord blood CD34+ cells to induce angiogenesis in areas of cerebral hypoperfusion, we propose that this stem cell type may be particularly useful for the treatment of autism.

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