The Future of Stem Cell Therapy as Treatment for Autism
Stem cell therapy is being used for more and more applications as scientists learn more about its potential. Now, medical professionals believe that it may be
Autism is a well-known but less well-understood condition that occurs at a rate of 15-25 in the overall population. With 1 in 59 children currently being diagnosed with an Autism spectrum disorder across all races and ethnic backgrounds, its instance is surprisingly frequent - especially considering that there is no known cure.
A Disease Without a Cure
You read that correctly. Autism Spectrum Disorder - despite being one of the most common mental health issues dealt with by children and adults today - has no cure. That isn’t for lack of trying on the part of science and the medical community. Every year, more and more breakthroughs are made in the treatment of ASD, and there have been huge strides made in helping those who struggle with the symptoms of these disorders live better, more fulfilling lives. Everywhere you look, there are experts recommending diets, exercise regimens, medications, alternative therapies and more that can help patients cope.
Still, there is no known cure, which is to say that there is no universally accepted and scientifically proven cure for any Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, there is hope for the future.
Studies on Stem Cells and Their Impact on Autism
Studies are being performed and research is emerging that suggests the efficacy of stem cell therapy for Autism.
The reason stem cell treatment for Autism is so promising is because of the nature of stem cell therapy itself. Stem cells have the amazing ability to adapt to their surroundings and replace damaged or otherwise malfunctioning cells. This means that - theoretically - no matter what the cause of a person’s Autism was determined to be, the stem cell treatment would replace the malfunctioning cells with healthy ones and solve the problem at its root.
Process, Costs, and Complications
As with any medical conditions, numerous considerations that must be taken into account before a patient or their family commits to stem cell therapy for Autism. Chief among these is the potential risk involved in the procedure. Stem cell harvesting from a patient’s own body is generally considered safe, but any medical procedure can carry inherent risks. These should be discussed - along with any potential risks of accepting stem cells from another source, such as a blood bank - before deciding on stem cell treatment for Autism.
Cost is also a factor. Currently, costs for stem cell treatment for Autism in the USA begin between 12,000-18,000 dollars. These costs vary dramatically; stem cell therapy in California is likely to have a different price tag than it might somewhere in the rural midwest, if such therapy is even available there.
What’s more, stem cell treatment for Autism in the USA is still in its infancy and there are many laws and regulations surrounding the use of stem cells in the United States. While it is entirely possible to undergo stem cell therapy in California or New York, many patients choose to travel to South American countries for the widest range of medical freedoms - travel that can rack of further expenses.
The best route for these families to take is always to discuss their options with local providers first. What is possible for one doctor or practice might not be for another, especially at a given price point. However, what was only a dream a few years ago - a viable cure for ASD - may soon be on the near horizon for patients and their families.
It all begins with a conversation with your local specialist.