Here’s Why Parents are Looking Into Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cell Therapy appears to be making waves, especially in treating certain diseases. Here’s what we know.
Stem Cell Therapy has been making waves again because some parents have discovered its ability to restore people’s health back to the way it was. Originally used to manage blood-based sicknesses and cancers, a recent study proposed that Stem Cell Therapy can help manage Autism Spectrum Disorders (Villarreal‑Martínez et. al, 2022).
However, some studies also revealed that it’s too early to assume that Stem Cell Therapy works for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders because the sample size is too small (Qu et. al,2017; Pistollato et. al, 2020). Here’s what we know so far.
What is Stem Cell Therapy?
According to DVC Stem, Stem Cell Therapy uses its namesake cells to repair or replace damaged cells by changing their structure to fit the organ they’re injected into while producing more cells. Most of the time, Stem Cell Therapy helps those with leukemia, blood marrow problems, and even brain problems such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease (Alessandrini, Preynat-Seauve, De Bruin, and Pepper, 2019) by encouraging the cells in a person’s body to repair the damaged tissue.
How do people get Stem Cells?
Doctors harvest stem cells upon the request of the patient. They usually harvest them from the following places:
- Umbilical Cord
- Adult Tissue
- Bone Marrow
Bone Marrow is one of the most common places to harvest stem cells, as it’s usually where blood cells are created to replace the ones that are lost as a person grows older.
Is Stem Cell Therapy effective for treating Autism Spectrum Disorders?
There’s been a lot of clout about it, especially since studies have been noting how Stem Cell Therapy addresses the stomach and immune system that commonly comes with Autism Spectrum Disorders. And while it feels like a “light at the end of the tunnel” for parents who want to improve their children’s quality of life as they get older, studies have been quick to disclaim that it’s still a young field that needs more research and work:
“However, the evidence was compromised by the limitations in current study size, lacking standardized injection routes and doses of stem cells, as well as shortages in diagnostic tools and long period follow-up studies. Hence, it calls for more studies to systematically confirm the efficacy and safety of stem cell therapy for children with autism spectrum disorders.”– Qu et al., 2022
Who has been using the treatment so far?
Former senate president Juan Ponce Enrile admitted in 2012 that he relied on stem cells to keep ongoing. Reported to be lucid, he celebrated his 99th birthday on February 14 — a grand celebration.
Celebrity parents Aubrey Miles and Troy Montero, who have been open about their daughter — Rocket’s — ASD condition, posted recently about their daughter’s first stem cell treatment, hoping to promote awareness about the possibility of the treatment.
Digital content creator and mom Vanessa Matsunaga-Sunga recently shared on her Instagram how she “banked her kids’ cord blood” and “lining,” citing how it offers a “life-saving safety blanket.”
There’s nothing definitive yet but it’s been showing promise
Like most medical procedures, Stem Cell Therapy as a possible treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder still needs further studies. While it’s not a complete cure, it helps make life easier for kids with ASD. Although psychosocial therapy helps with their social skills and communication problems, Stem Cell Therapy has been showing promise to help at least manage their digestive and immuno-problems so they can focus more on developing their social and communication skills.
Alessandrini, M., Preynat-Seauve, O., De Bruin, K., & Pepper, M. S. (2019). Stem cell therapy for neurological disorders. South African Medical Journal, 109(8 Supplement 1), S71-S78.
Pistollato, F., Forbes-Hernández, T. Y., Iglesias, R. C., Ruiz, R., Zabaleta, M. E., Cianciosi, D., Giampieri, F. & Battino, M. (2020). Pharmacological, non-pharmacological and stem cell therapies for the management of autism spectrum disorders: A focus on human studies. Pharmacological Research, 152, 104579.
Qu, J., Liu, Z., Li, L., Zou, Z., He, Z., Zhou, L., Yaolin, L., Zhang, M, & Ye, J. (2022). Efficacy and Safety of Stem Cell Therapy in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 10.
Villarreal-Martínez, L., González-Martínez, G., Sáenz-Flores, M., Bautista-Gómez, A. J., González-Martínez, A., Ortiz-Castillo, M., Robles‑Sáenz, D.A., & Garza-López, E. (2022). Stem cell therapy in the treatment of patients with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 1-10.