Apartim Dey Singha, a four-year-old boy from Kolkata was treated in a clinical trial at Duke University under the leadership of Dr Joan’s Kutrzberg for Autism, using his own cord blood stem cells preserved at LifeCell.
Autism spectrum disorder(ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects the social skills to interact with people accompanied with problems such as speech disability, behavioural issues and establishment of eye contact. Autistic kids have difficulty in expressing themselves and their inability can be clearly noticed by parents and the caretakers.
Autism is the third and the most common developmental disorder seen in children, in which more than 1 in 166 children are affected in India. The causes of Autism can be structural damage to the brain, toxins, pollutants and environmental related, genetic metabolic, etc.
Early diagnosis of Autism, coupled with swift and effective intervention, is paramount to achieve the best possible prognosis for an Autism child. In recent times, stem cell transplant is emerging as one of the newer treatment options for autism. The treatment is designed to repair the damaged neural tissue of the brain at molecular, structural and functional level.
Even before Apartim’s parents knew that their child would suffer from autism, with the meagre understanding about the use of stem cells the boy’s parents had made a wise move to preserve their baby’s stem cells at birth. The news of their son’s Autism was initially very disturbing to Apratim’s parents. They didn’t know how to take it forward but were determined to get him treated and help him overcome the disorder. Our first step was to speak and consult with various healthcare experts.
They surfed the net and learnt about the use of the child’s own stem cell transplant. We were happy that we made a wise decision of preserving our baby’s umbilical cord stem cells at birth in 2014 with LifeCell, which were used for treating my son for autism. Today we are seeing great progress in terms of development milestones in my son.”
Mayur Abhaya, CEO, MD, LifeCell said, “It’s heartwarming to see clinical improvement and development milestones in Apartim Dey Singha. Recently scientists at Duke University have published results of their study which indicates improvement in autistic children post infusion of autologous umbilical cord stem cells and this improvement has further validated the high-quality preservation standards of stem cells at LifeCell. There are many ongoing clinical trials across the world and this certainly gives hope to parents who have preserved their baby’s stem cells at birth”.
Results of the Duke University Phase 1 Clinical Trial proves autologous cord blood infusions are safe and feasible in young children with ASD. Significant improvements in children were observed on parent‐report measures of social communication skills, expressive vocabulary, eye‐tracking measures to social stimuli and behavioural parameters during the first 6 months after infusion. These data will serve as the basis for future studies to determine the efficacy of umbilical cord blood infusions in children with ASD.