Stem Cell Therapy for Autism

A combined approach of supportive therapies with stem cells giving patients real chances of improvement

Last Updated on: 15th June 2024, 03:51 pm

Table of Contents

Are you considering Stem Cell Treatment for Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting the social and cognitive functions of many children that has limited curative treatment options, with most only focusing on alleviating the present symptoms and improving daily functionality. Stem Cell Treatment however offers hope, with studies showing stem cell therapy can slow or reverse core symptoms of autism.

Read on to see if Autism Stem Cell Treatment might be right for you.

Ireland, Septo-optic Dysplasia / Autism | Stem Cell Treatment Testimonial

Ireland Kidd was diagnosed with Septo-optic Dysplasia and Autism with no hope for improvement from local doctors.

Her mother tells of their comprehensive stem cell therapy journey with Beike stem cells and functional medicine provided at Better Being Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. filmed during their second treatment.

Beike Biotechnology Patient Outcome Data - Autism

The table below presents the insights from a questionnaire filled out by 44 patients who received stem cell treatment with Beike Cell Therapy for Autism. This survey was specifically designed to gather feedback on patient satisfaction, the perceived efficacy of the stem cell treatment, and any potential areas of improvement.

The collected responses have been thoughtfully organized to provide a comprehensive overview of the patients’ experiences and the outcomes of their treatment.

Data collated on 8 October 2023

% of Patients, who noticed Improvement % of Patients who noticed a Small Improvement % of Patients who noticed a Moderate Improvement % of Patients who noticed a Large Improvement
Responding to commands
68%
34%
21%
13%
Uses eye contact
76%
54%
16%
5%
Aware of environment
66%
47%
16%
3%
Interaction with others
67%
44%
17%
6%
Concentration
63%
47%
11%
5%
General mood
62%
41%
19%
3%
Expressing own needs
61%
33%
24%
3%
Cooperation with others
59%
38%
16%
6%
Temper tantrums
56%
38%
9%
9%
Over/under eating
59%
45%
7%
7%
Dressing himself/herself
47%
28%
17%
3%
Interest in others
47%
26%
12%
9%
Comfortable with physical contact
52%
26%
23%
3%
Limited diet
54%
25%
25%
4%
Hyperactivity
47%
31%
17%
0%
Plays appropriately
44%
32%
9%
3%
Sleep disturbances
46%
29%
14%
4%
Understanding stories
38%
29%
6%
3%

Do you feel as though your stem cell treatment has improved the quality of life?

No
48%
Yes, has slightly improved
36%
Yes, has moderately improved
14%
Yes, has significantly improved
2%
% of patients with some level of positive result
52%

Are you currently satisfied with the outcome of the treatment?

No
22%
No comment
29%
Somewhat satisfied
29%
Yes
20%
% of patients a positive level of satisfaction
49%

Are you currently experiencing any improvements in your general physical condition?

No
48%
Yes, small improvements
36%
Yes, moderate improvements
14%
Yes, significant improvements
2%
% of Patients with ongoing improvements
52%

How Stem Cell Therapy Improves Symptoms of Autism

Stem cells are cells that are “pluripotent”, meaning they can differentiate into all other cells due to their self-renewing abilities. They can develop into ectodermal (ex. skin and some neurological structures), mesodermal (ex. bones, cartilages, and blood cells), or endodermal cells (ex. cells of internal body organs). Therefore, injecting stem cells should theoretically allow them to differentiate and “replace” the damaged neurons due to the brain insult predisposing to autism. However, following extensive testing of stem cell treatment on people with autism, in addition to their self-renewing abilities, stem cells have proven to have additional benefits other than tissue replacement; including (8):

  • Replacing and repairing the damaged neurons: As mentioned, this is their original function; to replace the damaged tissue by conversion of one cell type to another.

  • Increasing the production of neurotrophic factors that promote nervous cell proliferation and differentiation (ex. glia-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)). These factors can locally enhance cellular recruitment, proliferation, and maturation within the damaged or affected brain area.
  • Modulating the immune system and the ongoing inflammatory process – thereby reducing the ongoing neurodestructive process causing characteristic symptoms of autism.
  • Promoting vascular supply to the nervous system by stimulating the generation of new blood vessels (neovascularization/angiogenesis) through stimulating different vascular stimulating growth factors (ex. VEGF)conversion of one cell type to another

Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy in Autism

Studies testing stem cell therapy in people with autism have reported that the use of stem cell therapy in autistic people has shown improvement in (8-10):

Speech and language
Social interaction and communication
Emotional responsiveness
Hyperactivity, Aggression, Tantrum Reduction
Hypersensitivity to Light Reduction
Prolonged Staring / Pain Insensitivity Improvement
Cognitive functions
Gastrointestinal health

Visible improvements on functional brain imaging techniques were also seen, with the brains of autistic people showing better nutrient uptake following stem cell transplantation – indicating better brain connectivity and performance following stem cell therapy.

Our Treatment Program in Details

Beike is unlike any other stem cell treatment provider in the world, the reason? Since 2005, we have been developing and optimizing our stem cell treatment protocols with the concept that only a very comprehensive solution can allow our patients to truly benefit from stem cells. We believe that stimulation through various therapies is necessary to enhance stem cell regenerative response, therefore our protocols include daily therapies to support the stem cells. Finally, we provide a wide variety and large quantities of stem cells in order to adapt to each patient specific condition and deliver maximized regenerative potential.

Our stem cell therapy for autism program consist in 6 to 8 simple and minimally invasive injections of umbilical cord derived stem cells. The stem cells are transplanted using two separate methods: by intravenous way using a standard IV drip system, and through intrathecal injection performed after lumbar puncture. These two delivery methods allow for increased efficacy while ensuring safety and minimum inconvenience for the patient.

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IV & Intrathecal Injections
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15 to 23 Days Stay
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UCBSC / UCMSC Cells
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Daily Therapy Program
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120-400 Million Cells
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Nutrition Program

Patient Experience Stories

Find out more about patients previously treated with Beike stem cell protocols. The families participating in these blog posts talk about their stories and present their own view of the treatment, including thoughts regarding the daily therapies, the stem cell injection themselves as well as improvement noticed during and after treatment.

Kevin-Naidoo-Glaucoma-who-did-stem-cell

Kevin Naidoo, a yoga instructor from Saskatoon, Canada recently returned home from his stem cell treatment “adventure” in Bangkok, Thailand to treat his Optic Nerve Atrophy (ONA) which …

Darien – Stem Cells for Autism

After two successful stem cell treatments, Suzana, Darien’s mom agreed to share with all of us in a Q&A session their great experience at one of our facility centers. Amazing improvements for her kid, we couldn’t be happier for them. 

patient in China for stem cell treatment for Autism

Jeevan Chabra’s first two stem cell treatments for Autism were in Qingdao, China with treatment protocols and stem cells from Beike Biotechnology. According to Jeevan’s mother, their son “was nonverbal before the first stem cell treatment. …

Frequently asked questions about Autism & Stem Cell Therapy

  • What is Autism?
    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by different social and behavioral symptoms. The exact cause of autism is still not fully understood, but a combination of genetic predisposition and a perinatal brain insult/damage occurring around the time of birth has been suggested. Children with autism usually manifest with a combination of both social and behavioral problems including reduced social and communication skills, repetitive or restricted behaviors – including stereotypical repetitive speech and movements – ritualizing routine and despising changes, and abnormal reactivity to different sensory stimuli (ex. noise and light). Autism is usually associated with additional features that might impair the functionality of the child including irritability, aggressiveness, hyperactivity, insomnia, and different mood disorders such as depression or anxiety (1, 2). Autism has been suggested to occur due to a mixture of genetic predisposition and inflammatory or immune-mediated brain damage (3). Autism has also been proven to have lots of comorbid conditions that contribute to worse behaviors and socialization including gastrointestinal disturbance (ex. chronic constipation), metabolic disorders, sleep issues, seizures, nutritional problems and selective eating, and psychological disorders (4).
  • How Long Does it Take for Stem Cell Therapy for Autism to Work?
    Most often 3-6 months for the initial effect, with continuing improvement over the following 1 to 2 years.  We have had parents notice a near-immediate difference or a noticeable difference within 2 weeks but should not be seen as typical or expected.
  • What are the Current Treatments for Autism?
    Despite there being lots of advancements aiming at diagnosing autism earlier in order to allow prompt management and to provide a better quality of life for children and adults living with such a lifelong condition, there has not been much progress in treating its core features. Current treatments only aim to alleviate unfavorable behaviors such as irritability and aggressiveness, and allow them to reach their full potential when it comes to their cognitive and social abilities. Commonly-used treatments include psychological therapy, nutritional therapy; and in extreme resistant cases, pharmacotherapy with medications (2, 5): Psychotherapy/Behavioral Therapy These include different psychological and educational treatment approaches that aim to reinforce positive behaviors and reduce undesired ones. One commonly-used approach in autism is applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA involves some psychological interventions that aim to reinforce positive behaviors through establishing a reward system and inhibiting undesired behaviors through establishing an active or a passive consequence. This process is repeated throughout the sessions in order to “shape” the autistic child’s behavior. It has been estimated that this method improves social and behavioral features of children with autism when used early; with some children showing visible improvement in their IQ. However, these sessions take a long time to work and the degree of improvement differs from one child to another according to the severity of their autism (2, 5). Pharmacotherapy (Medical Treatment) Medications might be used to treat behaviors that have failed to respond to psychotherapy; including aggressiveness, anxiety, hyperactivity, or irritability. Some commonly used drugs include medications used in different psychological conditions (2, 5):
    • Antipsychotics (ex. risperidone and aripiprazole): These drugs have been proven to improve irritability and impulsivity. However, they are commonly associated with multiple side effects that necessitate its use with extreme caution; especially given the age group they are used on.
    • Antidepressants (ex. fluoxetine): Antidepressants have been proven in some studies to improve irritability and repetitive behaviors associated with autism.
    • Stimulants (ex. Methylphenidate and atomoxetine): These are especially beneficial in autistic children with co-existing ADHD symptoms and hyperactivity and/or constant distraction.
    Nutritional Therapy These are diets that have been proven to improve symptoms associated with autism. Some commonly-used diets include ketogenic and gluten-free diets. Additional use of supplements (ex. probiotics and antioxidants) has also shown some improvement in symptoms (6, 7). Of course there are other numerous treatments and medications that have proven benefits in autism, which are not the main topic of this article; yet they all share one thing in common, which is that they are solely symptomatic in nature – i.e. they aim to improve different autistic features to a certain extent – with no role in addressing the original neurological abnormality leading to the autistic presentation. This is where stem cell therapy has been emerging as a possible therapeutic option that could actually improve or even repair the original brain changes or damage contributing to different features of autism.
  • Which Stem Cells are the Best to Use to Treat Autism?
    To date, there has not been a single study – to our knowledge – that has compared different types of stem cells, concerning safety and efficacy, particularly in autism. There are currently many types of stem cells available to use in different conditions including embryonic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells (ex. bone marrow and umbilical cord stem cells), hematopoietic stem cells, neural stem cells, as well as many other sources (8). However, when looking at other similar neurodevelopmental disorders and at different stem cell therapy trials, the most feasible and safely-used stem cells that have been used and tested in autistic people and other neurological conditions include umbilical cord-derived samples, both cord blood and cord tissue, and bone marrow stem cells. These two types provide the best results with the lowest possible side effects (8, 9). We have also tested and published an article on the better efficacy of using both types of umbilical cord samples, umbilical cord mesenchymal cells and umbilical cord blood/hematopoietic cells, concomitantly – while maintaining safe administration (11). These results have contributed to establishing our current method of dual-type stem cell administration.
  • Which Stem Cells Do We Use to Treat Autism?
    At Beike Biotechnology, we use umbilical cord stem cells for autism, both umbilical cord-related mesenchymal and blood/hematopoietic samples donated from healthy mothers after a normal birth. As previously mentioned, this concomitant administration of both types of stem cells provides better results (11).
  • When is the Optimum Timing for Stem Cell Therapy for Autism?
    Autism is generally diagnosed at around 3 to 4 years of age. Most studies assessing the efficacy of stem cell therapy had patients starting from the age of 3 – with no reported age-specific side effects (8-10). Additionally, human brains continue developing even after birth until early childhood; and it has been proven that early intervention in different neurodevelopmental conditions – including autism – was associated with better outcomes and quality of life. Therefore, we generally recommend undergoing the procedure during early school age (3-7 years) to allow for the best results. Clinical benefit is not 100% guaranteed as is the case with any intervention, and consulting our specialists prior to undergoing the procedure is of utmost importance in order to gain more insight on the procedure.
  • What are the Possible Side Effects of Stem Cell Therapy for Autism?
    No treatment is without complications, and stem cell therapy is the same. However, despite its novelty, stem cell therapy has limited side effects, if used properly, with comparable general side effects to those experienced with regular blood transfusion or foreign organ transplantation (ex. allergic reactions, cell rejection, or fever). Other side effects that have been specifically reported in clinical trials testing stem cell therapy in autism include:
    • Headaches
    • Pain at site of injection
    • Gastrointestinal disturbances including nausea and/or vomiting
    • Seizures
    • Initial increase in the degree of hyperactivity for the first three months following stem cell therapy
    However, none of these side effects reported were life-threatening or had life-long consequences, and they were easily managed medically at the time of their occurrence.
  • Factors Affecting Response to Stem Cell Therapy for Autism
    Below is a summary of the factors that might affect your response to stem cell therapy, and how we at Beike Biotechnology address each factor to ensure that we provide you with the highest efficacy using the safest procedure possible.
    • Dose/Number of stem cells: The higher the dose of stem cells – within limits of course – the better the response. At Beike Biotechnology, we administer an optimum dose of around 120-280 Million Cells (depending on the child’s weight) for autism.
    • Route/Method of administration: Studies have shown that intrathecal injection (through lumbar puncture directly within the brain’s CSF) provides better response than the traditional intravenous route (which causes stem cells to go to other organs than the brain before reaching the brain). At Beike Biotechnology, we use both intravenous and intrathecal routes concomitantly in order to obtain the maximal efficacy; while ensuring the least possible side effects or toxicity.
    • Type of Stem Cells used: As previously mentioned, both umbilical cord-based stem cells, which we use at Beike Biotechnology, and bone marrow stem cells have better-proven efficacy in autism compared to other types of stem cells.
    • Timing of stem cell transplantation: Early intervention is crucial for people with different neurodevelopmental disorders – including autism. Therefore, we recommend early intervention during early school years (around 3 to 7 years old).
    • Follow-up Time: Significant benefits from stem cell therapy begin appearing around three months after stem cell therapy, and most people reach their full potential around 6-12 months after treatment. At Beike Technology, even after discharge, we provide you with a full follow-up program beginning as early as one month and up to one year after transplantation. You have complete access to our professional team even after you leave our center.

References

1. DeFilippis M, Wagner KD. Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents. Psychopharmacology bulletin. 2016;46(2):18-41. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044466/

2. Lordan R, Storni C, De Benedictis CA. Autism Spectrum Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment. Exon Publications, Brisbane (AU); 2021. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK573609/

3. Qu J, Liu Z, Li L, Zou Z, He Z, Zhou L, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Stem Cell Therapy in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in pediatrics. 2022;10:897398. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9114801/

4. Al-Beltagi M. Autism medical comorbidities. World journal of clinical pediatrics. 2021;10(3):15-28. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8085719/

5. Shenoy MD, Indla V, Reddy H. Comprehensive Management of Autism: Current Evidence. Indian journal of psychological medicine. 2017;39(6):727-31. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5733418/

6. Gogou M, Kolios G. Are therapeutic diets an emerging additional choice in autism spectrum disorder management? World J Pediatr. 2018;14(3):215-23. Available from: https://europepmc.org/article/med/29846886

7. Amadi CN, Orish CN, Frazzoli C, Orisakwe OE. Dietary interventions for autism spectrum disorder: An updated systematic review of human studies. Psychiatriki. 2022;33(3):228-42. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35477082/

8. Sharma A, Gokulchandran N, Sane H, Nagrajan A, Paranjape A, Kulkarni P, et al. Autologous bone marrow mononuclear cell therapy for autism: an open label proof of concept study. Stem cells international. 2013;2013:623875. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24062774/

9. Dawson G, Sun JM, Davlantis KS, Murias M, Franz L, Troy J, et al. Autologous Cord Blood Infusions Are Safe and Feasible in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Results of a Single-Center Phase I Open-Label Trial. Stem cells translational medicine. 2017;6(5):1332-9. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5442708/

10. Shroff G. Human Embryonic Stem Cells in the Treatment of Autism: A Case Series. Innovations in clinical neuroscience. 2017;14(3-4):12-6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5451033/

11. Lv YT, Zhang Y, Liu M, Qiuwaxi JN, Ashwood P, Cho SC, et al. Transplantation of human cord blood mononuclear cells and umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells in autism. Journal of translational medicine. 2013;11:196. Available from: https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5876-11-196

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Stem Cell Quality and Quantity Ensured

Different types of stem cells for different needs

Beike treatment protocols use stem cells from two separate sources: umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue. Umbilical cord related samples are donated by healthy mothers after normal births and are sent to Beike Biotech’s laboratories for processing.

After reviewing the patient’s full medical information, our doctors will recommend which source of stem cells should be used for treatment. Our treatment protocols may include one or multiple types of stem cells in combination depending on each patient’s specific condition.

Highest International Stem Cell Processing Standards

Backed by accreditations from national and international authorities we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality stem cells possible for your benefit.

Patient Videos

Below are video interviews recorded during treatment with Beike stem cells. The families showcased in these videos talk about their personal stories and their experience of the treatment including the improvement noticed.

The improvements mentioned in these videos are typical, however it does not guarantee that all patients may have the same improvements.

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Why Choose Beike for a Stem Cell Treatment?

  • Experience
    With more than a decade of practice, you are ensured to be advised and treated by competent professionals.
  • Diversity
    Multiple types of stem cells having different capabilities are available to adapt to each patient’s specific condition. We do not use the same type of stem cells for all patients.
  • Extensiveness
    A complete supportive therapy program is provided daily to stimulate patient’s freshly transplanted stem cells. The best improvement can only be obtain by supporting your stem cells.
  • Support
    A full follow-up program is provided after the treatment and you will be asked to take part in it at discharge and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment. Access to our team after the treatment is very important as you may receive further advice to maximize improvements.

Founded in July 2005, Shenzhen Beike Biotechnology is a national high-tech enterprise specialized in clinical transformation and technical service of biological treatment technology of strategic emerging industries.

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