DOB: December 2006
Archit Dev’s Stem Cell Progress (Feedback to Advancells from Mr Mahesh)
My son is an Autistic child and I was hopeful from stem cell treatment, as many advances were made in this field through medical research. And now we are ecstatic that our only child has uttered his first meaningful words, and we are waiting with bated breath for him to speak his first complete sentence. Archit Dev was born autistic and has only recently started showing signs of significant improvement in symptoms, behaviour pattern and cognitive abilities, following his first round of Autologus Stem Cell Therapy.
1. Before going on for the treatment, were there any apprehensions you had in mind? If yes, what were they?
Answer: There were many apprehensions we had before the treatment such as-:
1.) Is there any side effect of this treatment for Autism. Because for such treatment the stem cell are to reach to brain of my child and if there is any side effect like rejection of foreign body cells than it can cause harm and the condition of child in that situation would be unpredictable. However on discussions with doctors we understood that these would be the stem cells from the bone marrow of my son himself and not from foreign body. Therefore no chance of rejection.
2.) My 2nd main apprehension was, as I am now going for stem cell treatment in India itself, would the level of expertise and adequate medical facilities for processing stem cells become available in our country.
3.) The cost of treatment, of course, was also a matter of concern.
4.) My son was about to attain the age of 7 years. Whether stem cell treatment be effective at this age.
There were other queries also regarding procedures and anaesthesia.
2. What was the condition of the patient before treatment?
Answer: My child is an Autistic child. He had not spoken any meaningful word till the age of 7. He used to utter un-meaningful word/sounds and was frequently shouting and screaming. He was hyper in nature, running throughout the house and playing with the toys in wrong manner. He was not aware of dangers present in normal life. His intelligence was less developed in areas of his non-interest. However he was over smart in areas of his interest. He was busy all the time in doing repetitive jobs such as circling and doing round abouts etc.Although his intelligence was somewhat developed and he followed many instructions given to him but he was not understanding the language fully and nouns were totally missing from his behavior. He is a lovely child, very cute. Everyone who saw him could not stop himself from loving this lovely child.
3. What all have been tried by you for treatment before going for stem cell therapy?
Answer: When we came to know about our son having Autism, we tried everything we could do or we came to know about something helpful. First we met many doctors to get some medicine to increase his intelligence. Later on we understood that it is not so that his intelligence is lesser but it is a disorder in his behavior. His intelligence was OK in the areas of his interest. We also got his ability of hearing checked (BERA test), as we had a doubt that his reason for not speaking (meaningfully) could be that he could be having hearing deficiency. We got done his MRI also, it was in order. Finally child psychologist explained us about Autism and its symptoms. We rejected their suggestions/diagnostic initially but later on, upon finding most of the symptoms present in our child we accepted the hard and disturbing fact that our son is an Autistic child. The worst thing which broke me, down to the root of my courage which I had developed by withstanding to every adverse circumstances in my life, was that there was no effective treatment available to this disorder at that time as per my knowledge. Which means, there was no cure to our misery. The only thing we could undertake to help our son was to go for various therapies including behavior therapy, special education, occupational therapy etc.. He always understood that we are asking him to speak some particular word but he was so reluctant to speak it. Therefore Speech therapy was not helpful. Though these therapies were somewhat helpful in developing the understanding capability and reducing the hyperness but we had been realizing that these are only our efforts to deal with the problem in the absence of actual treatment until I came to know about Stem cell therapies being offered by Advancells. In that context, Archit Dev’s improvement is nothing short of a miracle. My wife and I have started dreaming about his future again,” he added.
4. What improvements have you observed in the child post treatment?
Answer: We had our son treated with stem cell treatment and now 5 weeks have been passed. Doctors told us that the effect of this treatment will start becoming visible from 2 months and would finalize at 8 or 9 months after the treatment. However the change in the behavior is visible in advance from the duration told by the doctors. My son has now started sitting at one place for longer durations (20-30 minutes) while earlier he used to sit at one place not more than 2 minutes and thereafter he used to run here and there. Alternatively his hyperness is reduced to 30% as compared to earlier. He is now shouting and screaming quite lesser. His attention is also increased to some extent. He is now understanding more instructions and has started to recognize the things by name (nouns). Many symptoms of Autism has started fading up (repetitive jobs are reduced to considerably low now). These are initial signs of the treatment becoming effective but it is quite early for any conclusive opinion at present. When we had decided to go for stem cell treatment, doctors told us that there is benefit in 70% cases only and the quantum of the improvement gained in those cases also differ case by case. Also the number of such cases treated are very few. So it was well understood that the chances of my son being benefited were not sure and that there were also some risks involved. I had decided that for any benefit of my child I am ready to face the risks involved as I cannot leave any stone unturned for betterment of my son’s life (though those risks explained to me were of the nature of very rear event, but for a father a risk to the child is of great concern). Also I had decided that even if there is only marginal improvement, I would avail that also for his betterment.
5. Was the treatment painful?
Answer: I did not noticed my son suffering any pain during the treatment. He was happily playing before and after the sedation for bone marrow extraction and for lumber puncture. After the treatment for 2 or 3 days he showed some signs of headache but it was not so severe and was of the normal nature. Except that there was no any pain noticed by us. During the treatment there was no pain.
6. What according to you are the advantages of stem cell treatment compared to other treatment modalities for autism?
Answer: The other treatment methods are mainly various therapies. In my opinion by applying these therapies we actually try to tackle the effects of Autism, such as try to reduce repetitive behavior and improve the speech ability. But the root cause of the problem is not addressed by these therapies. The stem cell treatment, in my opinion is developed to carry out the repair work of damaged part of human body which means addressing the root cause of the problem. Therefore this treatment I consider as the actual effective treatment of such problem.
7. How has been your overall experience at Advancells and would you recommend stem cell therapy to other caregivers and patients?
Answer: The experience with Advancells was very good, excellent. Full time during the treatment the Advancells team remained with us. Fully involved, even all our quarries were replied by team members themselves. All arrangements made by them. The cell processing lab setup at NOIDA is of international standard (I personally visited to check the lab facility before deciding for treatment). Stem cell extracted from the Bone marrow was processed by German doctors/experts. The hospital was one of the best in India. I really felt having facilities of international standard in my own native place instead of going half the globe away for the treatment in an unknown country, where in case of an emergency I had to tackle at my own only.
I would really recommend stem cell treatment to other caregivers and for the Patients and to those who are in any way have concern with any Autistic human being. It is really the duty of every human being to help other human being and other species in living life.*