Stem Cell Therapy For Autism:
The Delhi High Court has allowed two children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to undergo stem cell therapy for their condition.
- This is overturning a previous recommendation by the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB) of the National Medical Commission (NMC) against the use of stem cell treatment for autism spectrum disorder.
- The EMRB recommended against the use of stem cell therapy for ASD due to concerns about “predatory marketing” and false hope, as well as the lack of a well-established protocol for its use.
- Stem cells are cells from which all other cells in the body, with specialized functions, are generated.
- There are two main categories: pluripotent stem cells, which can differentiate into any cell type in the adult body, and adult stem cells, which are tissue-specific and can only generate cells for a particular organ.
- Stem cells have been used in medicine, particularly in regenerative medicine, for over 90 years.
- Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, for instance, is used to treat conditions like leukaemia and lymphoma, where healthy stem cells are introduced to replace damaged cells.
- Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological and developmental disorder affecting communication, behaviour, and learning.
- While there is no cure for ASD, various therapies are used to manage symptoms and improve the individual’s quality of life.