Stem Cells & Autism

Stem Cells and Autism

Stem Cells & Autism

A stem cell is a ‘master cell’ in the human body that has the ability to regenerate and to develop itself into many other cells in the human body. A stem cell can take on the form of more than two hundred other cell types in the body and so contributes to the repair and regeneration of body tissue. Stem cells replace cells that die or are damaged and can differentiate into whatever tissue they attach to.

Stem cell therapy uses the transformative capacity of stem cells to treat and prevent disease. Stem cells are injected into the body and work to reintroduce functional cells, improve metabolism, replace lost cells and generate an immune response.

Stem cell therapy and autism is the application of donated stem cells taken from the umbilical cord of new mothers to attempt to address the physical aspects of autism – the inflammation of the gut and the diminished oxygenation in certain parts of the brain (which is supported by some studies). In autism and stem cell therapy, the focus is to try to regulate the immune system and to decrease intestinal inflammation, thereby reducing the main effects of autism.

Great caution needs to be taken when assessing the merits of such new and invasive therapies; the risks are not yet fully understood, nor are the rationale for using them. Stem cell therapy is still in its infancy and stem cell therapy and autism is still only in clinical trial.

*It is interesting to note that although the physical aspects of autism are being addressed with autism and stem cell therapy, still there is no understanding of the connection as to why the gut inflammation and poor immune response have such a marked influence on autistic traits. The Polyvagal Theory is the only theory that can succinctly describe why these issues have such a deleterious effect on the autist and why they can produce autistic characteristics such as lack of eye contact and poor social skills.

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