Stem Cell Therapy and Autism

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Stem Cell Therapy and Autism

Stem Cell Therapy and Autism

Facts and Figures


Autism Facts and Figures

There are around 700,000 people on the autism spectrum in the UK – that's more than 1 in 100

Autism doesn't just affect children. Autistic children grow up to be autistic adults.

Five times as many males as females are diagnosed with autism.

Autism is a hidden disability – you can't always tell if someone is autistic.

It costs the UK £32bn a year in treatment, lost earnings and care and support for children and adults with autism.

Source: &

Note: The term ‘autism’ is used here to describe all diagnostic profiles, including Asperger syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).


The National Autistic Society in the UK reports that around 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum, which together with their families means autism is a part of daily life for 2.8 million people.*

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how the individual experiences the world around them as well as their communication and ability to develop relationships.

Current research focuses not just on the causes and effects of autism but also looks at ways in which individuals with autism and their families can be better supported. This research includes pioneering new breakthroughs in the use of stem cell therapies.

Generally speaking, autism affects children in two main ways. Decreased blood flow to the brain, known as Hypoperfusion, causes oxidative stress. This means that the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, which causes inflammation of the brain cells. This in turn causes an excessive production of nitric oxide, creating space for cells to receive too much calcium. As a result, this damages the mitochondria that would usually make energy for the cells, causing brain cells to die.

The second issue is that the immune system of autistic children doesn’t respond to stimulation in the way that it would with a child who doesn’t have autism. The immune system of a child with autism suffers from continuous suppression, chronic inflammation and autoimmune responses. As a result, the main aspirations of stem cell therapy would be to support brain development triggering and to regulate the immune system.

Research into Stem Cell Treatment

Increasingly stem cell therapy is recognised as a possible approach to supporting individuals with autism. This is based on the unique ability of stem cells to influence metabolism, the immune system and restore damaged cells and tissues, including body organs and systems. Indeed recent studies utilising stem cell treatment, including the Duke University Study in April 2017, have shown promise, though all investigators and other experts emphasize that the therapy is still in the early stages and much more research is needed.

Following an initial Phase I trial of the study, the researchers are now embarking on a larger Phase II. This will determine whether the initial suggestion, that stem cell therapy will be of benefit to children with autism, can be replicated.

On the challenges that Autism brings to parents, Geraldine Dawson PhD, who is co-principal investigator and director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, said: “One of the most challenging things for parents of children with autism is that there is so much information out there that is unreliable,”

“After we’ve concluded the Phase II trial, we will have much more information and should be able to better characterize the potential for this therapy.”

BioEden Customers Using their Stem Cells to Treat Autism

At BioEden we have supported these developments, and our own experience endorses the potential which may lie in this area. Over the past 12 years of offering our service BioEden has released a number of samples of cells for the treatment of a range of conditions, including Autism.

If you want more information on how you could bank your children’s baby teeth for potential future therapeutic use, have a chat to one of our team or download our guide to stem cell banking.

To keep up to date with the latest developments in stem cell therapy and the treatment of autism, make sure to check back regularly to our blog.

*The National Autistic Society is the leading UK charity for autistic people, including those with Aspergers syndrome, for more information visit

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