Innovations In Clinical Neuroscience

MAR-APR 2017

A peer-reviewed, evidence-based journal for clinicians in the field of neuroscience

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Innovations in CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE [ V O L U M E 1 4 , N U M B E R 3 – 4 , M A R C H – A P R I L 2 0 1 7 ] 12 ABSTRACT Background: Autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder accompanied by weak immune system and neuroinflammation. Multiple factors contribute to etiology of autism spectrum disorder including genetic disorders, environmental substances/toxins, imbalanced immune system, encephalitis, and viral infections. Autism spectrum disorder is an incurable disease; however, it can be managed by educational and medical interventions. Human embryonic stem cell therapy has been shown to improve blood perfusion in the brain; thus, this therapy may be effective in improving motor skills, social skills, and cognition in patients with autism spectrum disorder. Method: Three pediatric patients with autism spectrum disorder were administered human embryonic stem cell therapy. Their treatment plan was divided into three phases (T1, T2, T3; 4–6 weeks) separated by gap phases (4–8 months) in between. Results: The patients showed improvements in eye coordination, writing, balancing, cognition, and speech and showed reduced hypersensitivity to noises and smells. Conclusion: The use of human embryonic stem cell therapy may be a safe and effective treatment for patients with autism spectrum disorder. Studies with larger sample sizes are needed to support the use of human embryonic stem cell therapy in this patient population. INTRODUCTION Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by social disconnection, incomplete verbal and nonverbal communication, severely restricted interests, and display of stereotyped and repetitive obsessive behaviors. 1,2 The current diagnosis of ASD is based on the revised criteria in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). 3 According to the DSM-5, ASD is a single spectrum disorder that comprises three disorders previously described in the fourth edition of the DSM 4 —autism, Asperger's disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Scientific evidence and clinical practice support that this single spectrum reflects the currently defined symptomatology, time-course, and response to treatment of the disorder. 5 Multiple factors contribute to the etiology of ASD, including genetic, environmental, immunodeficient, encephalitic, and viral factors. Impairment of methylation and mutations in the mecp2 gene are found to be related to ADS. The genetic polymorphism of cytochrome P450 enzyme, particularly CYP27B1 gene, has also been associated with ASD. CYP27B1 gene is vital for the metabolism of vitamin D, which plays a key role in the neuronal growth and neurodevelopment in the body. Delayed metabolism or deficiency in vitamin D has been reported in the patients with ASD. The other factors deemed responsible for the causation of ASD includes transfer of maternal by GEETA SHROFF, MD Dr. Shroff is Director of Nutech Mediworld in New Delhi, India. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2017;14(3–4):12–16 FUNDING: No funding was received for the preparation of this article. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: The author has no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this article. ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE TO: Dr. Geeta Shroff, Nutech Mediworld, H-8, Green Park Extension, New Delhi-110016, India; Phone: +91-11-26180039; Fax: +91-11-26560089; email: geetashroff@hotmail.com KEY WORDS: Autism, human embryonic stem cell, hESC, stem cell therapy, neurodevelopmental disorder, brain related disorder C A S E S E R I E S Human Embryonic Stem Cells in the Treatment of Autism: A Case Series

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