Although it has been the source of some controversy within the political realm, stem cell therapy is widely regarded by the medical community as a promising field of research that could benefit the lives of millions. Many conditions could possibly be treated using stem cell therapy, but if you are an adult living with autism spectrum disorder, you may be wondering about its potential ramifications for your future. Until now, it was generally assumed that individuals with autism would need to deal with the disorder for the rest of their lives, but new research has shown that stem cells may be able to noticeably alleviate the symptoms of life on the spectrum.
Understanding the Causes of Autism
Autism is a developmental disorder characterized by poor communication and executive functioning, as well as physical clumsiness and a tendency toward repetitive behaviors. There is a genetic component to the disease, but it seems to also be triggered in part by environmental factors. Despite its relatively high prevalence in the general population, there is still much that is not known about autism, though researchers are learning more by the day. This ambiguity can, however, make finding an effective treatment difficult to nearly impossible.
Exploring How Stem Cells Can Help
The regenerative powers of stem cells have been noted for decades, but scientists have only recently begun to analyze their potential for treating autism spectrum disorder. It is thought that an autistic brain suffers from a lack of oxygen in several key areas, which can impede or at least change their function. These defects are also believed to impact your immune system, being particularly associated with intestinal inflammation. As strange as it sounds, that inflammation in your intestines may be exacerbating your neurological condition, heightening the traits of autism. By targeting both areas with umbilical cord stem cells, researchers hope to at least lessen the negative aspects of autism, if not reverse them entirely.
Staying Up to Date on Current Research
This is still a field in its infancy, meaning it may still be a while before clear answers emerge. Still, a large-scale study conducted by Duke University has returned positive initial results, though their precise cause is still a mystery. Many smaller studies are also underway around the world to explore the possibility of stems cells as an effective therapy for autism, and some companies have even begun offering safe, preliminary treatment plans for autistic individuals. If you are interested in finding a way to lessen the pressures of autism on your daily life, you may soon have the option to explore stem cells as a vital lifeline to help you interact with the world successfully.
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13 July 2016
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