A leading US paediatric neurologist, who is conducting an FDA approved trial using cord blood to treat autism expects to have the results by early 2014.
Dr Michael Chez, director of paediatric neurology at Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, Calif., began the FDA approved trial in August 2012 and said they have high hopes it will succeed.
Chez got the idea to ‘treat’ autism with cord blood stem cells when he observed the cells make a big difference for a little boy who had cerebral palsy. Elisa Rudgers of Sacramento, Calif., had a normal pregnancy – but a difficult delivery. Her son, Rydr, was stuck for seven hours in the birthing canal, so doctors used a vacuum to remove him. At birth, he was not moving or breathing, and he had no lower brain function. Rydr spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 11 months old.
Rydr’s parents chose to bank his cord blood at birth and he received his first infusion at 15 months old. This was a child who couldn’t walk, talk or eat on his own – but he began crawling three months later.
After the second infusion, he began walking and talking, and after the third infusion, Rydr was also able to chew and swallow soft foods.
“I can verify he definitely got better,” Chez said.
Now, Chez is putting Rydr’s experience to work for children with autism.
Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in a child’s first three years of life, according to the National Institutes of Health. One in 50 U.S. children have it, and it affects one in 30 boys. The condition impacts the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills – sometimes mildly, sometimes extremely.
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