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Stem cell can play an important role in autism: Experts

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Tuesday, December 24, 2019, 16:10 Hrs  [IST]

Experts advocate that stem cell can play an important role in autism clarifying further that stem cell therapy is adequately regulated in the country for its effective and ethical treatment.

World Medical Association (WMA) has also stated that there is no surgery for autism and it is therefore ethical also to use stem cell treatment.

Globally researchers and doctors are now looking at regenerative therapy using stem cells as a potential therapy for children showing symptoms of mental retardation. Stem cell therapy helps is repairing the damage in neurological conditions like autism.

There are two major components of stem cells- stem cell derived product and stem cell therapy. Stem cell product is sold in the market but stem cell therapy is a treatment.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has given guidelines for stem cell therapy that needs to be followed.

Explains Dr. Alok Sharma, director, NeuroGen, “There are two types of Stem cell therapy – autologous and allogeneic. We use autologous procedure that is ethical where there is no use of drugs and surgery. We use patient’s own cell and separate in from bone marrow and put it back in their body which comes under regulation.”

Mumbai based NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute’s Stem Cell Therapy combined with neurorehabilitation offers treatment for intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

He further explains, “There are 96 national and international journals in medical journals. In which first scientific paper was published by me in 2014 followed by China, Italy and America.”

There are over 2000 cases including 65 from different countries like America and Australia but India has evolved in stem cell therapy for neurological disorder.

“We have handled the cases where children who couldn’t read or write in the initial days is taking board exams. They used to go to special schools and now they are going to normal school now. We give antibiotics before treating like other disease,” Dr Sharma concludes.

The world’s first scientific paper in a medical journal on the efficacy of cell therapy in autism has been published by Dr. Alok Sharma in the journal Stem Cell International in 2014. The worlds first scientific publication on the benefits of cell therapy in Intellectual disability has also been published by Dr. Alok Sharma in 2018 in the Journal of Stem Cell Research and Therapy.


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