Autism belongs to a spectrum of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders. It is characterized by abnormalities in social interaction, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive, obsessive behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the prevalence of autism hovers around 60 in every 10000 children. Even though there is no defined gold standard approach, current interventions for this disease can be divided into behavioral, nutritional and pharmacological. Medical interventions aim to ameliorate the neuropsychiatric disorders associated with autism. The medications include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), typical and atypical anti-psychotic drugs, psycho-stimulants, α-2 agonists, β blockers, lithium, anti-convulsant mood stabilizers and anti-depressants. Unfortunately, autism is still not treatable.
The pathogenic mechanism of autism is not clearly understood and remains elusive. Nevertheless, two pathologies are commonly found within patients: the first observation is an impaired central nervous system circulation and hypoperfusion to the brain, whereas the second observation is systemic T cell and B cell abnormalities as well as active neuroinflammatory processes in the brain. Based on the immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), therapies employing MSCs have been proposed to target the immune deregulation observed in autism. Basically, it is believed that MSCs are able to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and have strong immunosuppressive activity. This not only allows for autologous transplantation, but also heterologous transplantation without the requirement of pharmacological immunosuppression.
As an old affiliate member of Cell Surgical Network(CSN,) we share a specific deployment protocol that attempts to utilize the immuno-regulatory and anti-inflammatory properties of SVF (rich in mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors). Special measures are taken to optimize transport of the SVF across the blood-brain barrier to improve central nervous system uptake. This is all done as an outpatient at the time of SVF harvesting and procurement. The entire cellular surgical procedure takes approximately three hours.