What is autism?
Autism is a spectrum of disorders characterized by marked abnormalities in communication and social interactions. Two common consistent findings are associated in children with this disorder are diminished oxygenation in specific areas of the brain and a chronic immunologically mediated inflammatory condition in the gut.
What is the rationale behind using stem cells to treat autism?
Current investigative therapies for autism attempt to reverse these abnormalities through administration of antibiotics, anti‐inflammatory agents, and hyperbaric oxygen. Unfortunately, none of these approaches address the root causes of oxygen deprivation and intestinal inflammation.
Mesenchymal stem cells (like those found in the dental pulp of teeth) can regulate the immune system. It is thought that they may help to reverse inflammatory conditions and is currently in the final stages of clinical trials in the US for Crohn’s disease, a condition resembling the gut inflammation in autistic children.
Autologous CD34+ stem cells from the bone marrow have been shown to induce generation of new blood vessels in tissue that lacks oxygen. It is thought that these stem cells may help increase the blood flow in the temporal region of the brain, an area that is believed to be inadequately oxygenated in autistic children.
More information can be found in the peer published treatment method reviewed in the Journal of Translational Medicine: Stem Cell Therapy for Autism.
The Abstract from that paper:
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental conditions whose incidence is reaching epidemic proportions, afflicting approximately 1 in 166 children. Autistic disorder, or autism is the most common form of ASD. Although several neurophysiological alterations have been associated with autism, immune abnormalities and neural hypoperfusion appear to be broadly consistent. These appear to be causative since correlation of altered inflammatory responses, and hypoperfusion with symptology is reported. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are in late phases of clinical development for treatment of graft versus host disease and Crohn's Disease, two conditions of immune dysregulation. Cord blood CD34+ cells are known to be potent angiogenic stimulators, having demonstrated positive effects in not only peripheral ischemia, but also in models of cerebral ischemia. Additionally, anecdotal clinical cases have reported responses in autistic children receiving cord blood CD34+ cells. We propose the combined use of MSC and cord blood CD34+cells may be useful in the treatment of autism.
How can I take advantage of this?
These stem cells are found in baby teeth that are naturally coming out and in wisdom teeth, or other healthy teeth, that are being extracted.
Instead of having your dentist discard these valuable stem cells, or putting them under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy - consider how dental stem cells could one day help protect your family's health.
Similar to stem cells from umbilical cord blood, dental stem cells have the potential to be used in many medical applications.
They have already been used to regenerate dental bone and treat periodontal disease, and are currently being studied by researchers to help treat conditions such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, stroke, heart attack, Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
Dental Stem Cells - a new source of stem cells that are:
Plentiful and painless to collect - found in baby teeth naturally falling out or extracted teeth such as wisdom teeth
Affordable - the initial cost to store dental stem cells is about one third to one half the cost of storing umbilical cord blood
Non-controversial - adult stem cells, not embryonic
Precious - public banks don't exist for storing dental stem cells
Autologous - a perfect match since they're your child's own stem cells (so no risk of immunologic rejection)
Your child's dental stem cells may also match closely related relatives (siblings, parents, grandparents, uncles/aunts)