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Autism (or Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD) is a complex neurological condition characterized by avoiding eye contact, an inability to showcase emotions, and using few or no gestures. Generally, parents overlook these symptoms when they first appear early in life. They also take a long time to understand and provide their children with the care they need. The number of individuals living with the condition is on the rise and is estimated to affect 1 child in every 100 children worldwide.

We still lack a cure or treatment for such a widespread condition. The difficulty in developing a treatment stems from the spectrum of the condition. Every individual who is trying to overcome autism is unique and requires personalized treatment. Emerging modern therapeutic approaches, including stem cell therapy, provide hope to parents who want to give their children a normal life. Several success stories have come to light, but these treatments are still under investigation.

In this blog, we will discuss crucial things one must look out for when choosing stem cell therapy for autism.

What Are The Causes Of Autism Spectrum Disorder?

A sizable body of research has emerged that supports the idea that there is a genetic component to autism. But, sadly, it does not point out the casual element. Moreover, there are studies on siblings and twins that confirm that the risk of autism in the sibling of an autistic child is 50–100 times higher than in the general population.

Interestingly, researchers have proven that the socio-economic characteristics of the family do not contribute to autism. ASD is a neurological condition that is caused by the abnormal development of the brain, resulting in symptoms we initially discussed.

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Stem Cell Therapy For Autism

Every human being is born from a single totipotent cell called an embryo. As we undergo different stages of development, our bodies develop several body organs using totipotent cells. Once we become adults, our body keeps a few extra cells of these cells that have the potential to differentiate into other cell types. We call these cells stem cells. Even in adult bodies, you will find stem cells in bone marrow and adipose tissue. Scientists have employed these stem cells to differentiate into different types of tissues, including nerve cells and muscle cells.

During stem cell therapy, individuals are given stem cells intravenously (in the bloodstream). Once in the bloodstream, the stem cells travel to the areas of the damaged tissue. And yes, stem cells have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier, which several drugs are not able to pass through.

These abilities of stem cells place them at the forefront of autism treatment.

Types Of Stem Cells Used In Autism Treatment

Another question that arises when looking for stem cell therapy for autism is which types of stem cells must be used. In clinical trials, there are three major types of stem cells used, namelyAnother question that arises when looking for stem cell therapy for autism is which types of stem cells must be used. In clinical trials, there are three major types of stem cells used, namely

  • Adipose-derived stem cells
  • Umbilical-derived stem cells
  • Bone marrow derived stem cells

All of them have been found to be safe for therapeutic application at different dosages in preclinical and phase I clinical trials. But the majority of current research and clinical trials are using umbilical-derived mesenchymal stem cells due to the following:

Multipotent Nature: These cells are the next best thing to pluripotent and embryonic stem cells. These cells are not manipulated in any way and carry a potency as high as the pluripotent cells. Scientists have used these cells to differentiate into various organ types, including nerve cells.

  • Ethically Acceptable: These cells are obtained from the umbilical cord, which is discarded after birth. Researchers and scientists obtain these umbilical cords after proper documentation from the donors. Once, they get these umbilical cords, they extract and expand these MSCs in labs.

It is vital to understand the advantages and limitations of stem cell types to optimize treatment strategies. As research progresses, the optimal cell source for individual patients in autism treatment might become clearer.


Grade Of The Stem Cells

Besides these considerations, an important thing to consider is the manufacturing site of the stem cells to be used in the treatment. It is advised to use pharmaceutical-grade mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment.Grade Of The Stem Cells

What are these MSCs?

Pharmaceutical-grade MSCs are stem cells produced under stringent quality control measures. They are produced using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. Key benefits of using pharmaceutical-grade MSCs:

  • Increased Purity and Potency: It minimizes the risk of contamination and ensures a consistent therapeutic effect.
  • Enhanced Safety: Rigorous testing processes reduce the risk of adverse reactions, if any.
  • Transparency and Documentation: You receive comprehensive reports detailing cell characteristics and viability for informed decision-making.

It’s important to carefully explore the hospitals and choose a reputable stem cell manufacturer. Getting stem cells that meet high standards is crucial for undergoing stem cell treatments for autism.

Improvement And Success Rate Of Autism Treatment

After all these positive points, you must be wondering: What is the success rate of autism treatment? As we mentioned, there are ongoing clinical trials, and the results are improving over time. On average, 85% of people show clinical improvements after stem cell therapy. After stem cell therapy for autism, individuals experience:

  • Improved concentration
  • Improved cognitive development
  • Increased learning capacity
  • Responsive immune system
  • Decreases in lethargy and social withdrawal
  • Improvement in CASR score
  • Improvement in body control
  • Decrease in fear and nervousness
  • Increased nonverbal communication
  • Improved gastrointestinal (digestive) function

Exosomes From The Stem Cells

Another factor that has a significant impact on the improvement of individuals is the presence of the stem cell secretome. Anything that the body’s stem cells secrete is known as a secretome. This secretome includes beneficial agents like exosomes. 

Exosomes are tiny vesicles that stem cells release, carrying a cargo of proteins, RNA, and other bioactive molecules. These tiny messengers have the potential to generate positive responses within the body. These bioactive molecules can pass the blood-brain barrier and help reduce the inflammation of the brain. In turn, this helps the individuals get better over time.

Anti-inflammatory signals sent by exosomes and stem cell repair show gradual improvements that last for a long time. While the exact mechanisms are still under investigation, the potential for long-term benefits suggests a promising avenue for therapeutic interventions.

The Future Landscape of Cell Therapy for Autism

A high success rate of autism treatment should mean that people choose it as a preferred option. However, we find that individuals are hesitant about undergoing the treatment. The main reason for this is that there is not enough awareness among the masses. 

To encourage a wider acceptance of stem cell therapy for autism, it is imperative to bridge the awareness gap. Educational initiatives, sharing accurate information, and increased public discourse will play a pivotal role in empowering families to make informed decisions regarding treatment options.

We can look forward to a time when personalized and targeted approaches are an important part of autism treatment plans. It is all thanks to the encouraging progress made in cell therapy for autism. A crucial field of research is to find the molecular and external factors that cause autism. This will help healthcare professionals provide a more complete and personalized care plan.

Conclusion: Hope on the Horizon for Autism Treatment with Stem Cell Therapy

In conclusion, the landscape of autism treatment is evolving, and stem cell therapy stands out as a promising avenue. While we acknowledge that there is currently no cure for autism, stem cell therapy’s potential inspires hope. The long-term success rate of autism treatment is still under review, but recent research is promising. We are paving a way for the future, where individuals with autism can strive towards their fullest potential.


Q: Is stem cell therapy for autism in India considered a conventional treatment option?

Stem cell therapy for autism in India remains in a grey area. While it’s not illegal, some doctors are offering it as an experimental treatment. More research is needed before considering it a standard treatment.

Q: What is the cost of stem cell treatment in India?

In India, the cost of getting stem cell therapy depends on the kind of transplant being done. The cost of transplant depends significantly on the source of stem cells whether using allogeneic or autologous stem cells. It is seen that allogeneic stem cells cost significantly more than autologous stem cells. 

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