Autism spectrum disorders are complex neurodevelopment disorders characterized by problematic social interactions, repetitive stereotyped verbal and non-verbal behaviors, and minimum verbal communications.The etiology is multifactorial including genetic and environmental factors.
Conventional treatment of autism involves behavioral therapy and medical management. However neither of these approaches is effective in curing the disease completely.
Stem Cell Transplant for Autism
Stem cell therapy represents a great promise for the future of molecular medicine due to its advantages. Stem cell transplantation can slow or even block the progression of several diseases. Personalized stem cell therapy is considered to be the most effective treatment for a specific autistic child and might open a new era in the management of autism in near future.
Stem cell therapy for autism is based on the fact that the stem cells migrate to the sites of injury and transform themselves to new tissue cells and replace the damaged ones. The multipotent stem cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) used for therapy of autistic individuals can renew and differentiate into nerve cells, blood cells, muscle cells etc. This in turn, restores the damaged nerve cells of the autistic child and arrest disease progression. Following stem cell treatment, a significant improvement in the behavior, social and learning abilities of the autistic children has been observed.
Stem cell therapy is a complex process. The patients undergoing the therapy must be subjected to proper care both physically and emotionally. The costs of stem cell treatments and therapies depend on several factors including the treatment availability, quality of the treatment, types of stem cells used, overhead costs etc. But the costs are not standardized in most of the countries of the world.
India offers excellent Stem cell transplant treatment at rates much lower than the prevailing rates in USA and Europe. The cost of stem cell therapy in India is usually one-tenth the costs in US and UK and even cheaper than Thailand. However, the treatment is quite advanced in India compared to many other countries. Hence, India is the most preferred destination for the patients who want low cost stem cell therapy. A significant numbers of highly skilled experts are available in different medical institutions and private hospitals in India.
Different private clinics across Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad provide stem cell therapy for autistic patients. The cost of Stem Cell therapy in India varies from $12,000 to $50,000 depending on the type of treatment. In Mumbai, the typical cost of stem cell therapy for autism is approximately $12,000. Nonetheless, the final cost of the therapy for autism is based on the seriousness of the patients, the patient’s medical history, hospital brand and room types, and also the expertise of the surgeons.
Success Rates of Stem Cell Therapy in India
The overall success rate of the stem cell therapy in India and worldwide is about 60% to 80%. The result of stem cell therapy in autism is quite significant. Approximately 91% of autistic patients showed positive response towards the treatment with improved clinical outcomes: reduction of aggressive behavior and hyperactivity was reported, improvement of eye contact and attention span as well as improvement in communication and social skills are detected.