Autism in children has increased dramatically around the world since the 1980's and is now a major health concern with no known cure. The causes of autism are hotly debated, but a new stem cell treatment has begun to demonstrate significant results.
Athens, Greece (PRWEB) April 13, 2010 -- Following remarkable improvement in the condition of children who have received this stem cell treatment for autism, a group of doctors in Greece are preparing a protocol for submission to the Ministry of Health for an official clinical trial on autism.
For over 50 years doctors have been safely using hematopoietic stem cells from bone marrow to treat blood disorders and compromised immune systems and more recently mesenchyme stem cells for repair of damaged and injured tissue. These same stem cells are found in abdominal fat in much larger numbers and can be removed with a mini-liposuction. A biotech company, AdiStem Ltd, has developed technology that can quickly and cheaply allow doctors to harvest the stem cells from the extracted fat and return the cells back to the patient in an activated form in a single setting. In the autistic children, their own stem cells were returned to them intravenously. This autologous procedure avoids rejection by the body and there are no ethical or regulatory issues.
The stem cell technology developed by AdiStem for the past 5 years has been used and trialed by doctors around the world for the treatment of type II diabetes and its complications, osteoarthritis, and cosmetic medicine. Physicians in Greece approached the company recently with the intent to treat Yannis, the son of Dr. Solomos, a cardiologist. Yannis, a 9 year old boy, had been diagnosed with autism but not responded to standard treatments.
An experienced doctor, the father, Dr Solomos, carefully reviewed the case studies of other children with Autism who had received the AdiStem stem cell treatment in Europe and Asia, and was convinced of its safety and potential for improving the condition of his son. With the help of experienced pediatric surgeons Yannis underwent an hour long mini-liposuction procedure at Kratiko Nikaias Hospital in Athens in which 200cc of abdominal fat was harvested. The fat was dissolved, the stem cells isolated and then activated, and over 100 million cells were returned to Yannis through a standard intravenous drip. Yannis was discharged on the same day.
Just one month later, his father was astonished to hear Yannis talking to him on the phone for the first time. Dr. Solomos explained: "my boy has simply not been able to speak to me on the phone before". Asked if he’d noticed any other changes, he replied: "His school tells me his attention has improved. We experience him nearer to us and he feels us. I see a change in his ability to connect with other children. He plays with them now, which he used to avoid. He has also become more interested in letters and numbers". (This interview with Dr.Solomos was recorded on video and can be viewed at "www.adistem.com/application/autism.htm").
Present during the treatment, Dr. Koliakos, Associate Professor at Aristotle University and President of Hellenic Research Foundation Stem Cell Bank pointed out: "One month after the therapy Yannis has shown remarkable progress according to his father's observations. The child will be reevaluated by pediatric psychiatrists 3 months after the therapy to measure the extent of progress in his condition and to decide if the remainder of his stem cells, presently stored in liquid nitrogen, should be administered".
Dr.Kolaikos continued: "We're convinced about the safety of intravenous adipose stem cell therapy – if supported by accredited facilities – and our team has now applied for a large formal clinical trial on autism using AdiStem's stem cell protocol here in Greece".
Terry Grossman, M.D., stem cell researcher from Golden, Colorado said, "I was present to observe 9 year old Yannis undergo the stem cell procedure at the Kratiko Nikaias Hospital in Athens. Further studies are needed, but it is possible that stem cell therapy will soon be available as a powerful new tool to help children with autistic spectrum disorders."
AdiStem is a biotechnology company that discovers, develops and provides leading hospitals and clinics with autologous adult adipose – derived stem cell products that address serious medical conditions and assist in cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures ("www.adistem.com").
Stem cell treatment for autistic children, and full trials using AdiStem technology, will soon be performed in Bangkok, Thailand, Bogota, Columbia, as well as in Athens, Greece.
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