Kolkata child with autism shows improvement after stem cell trial in the United States
A child from Kolkata, who is in the autism spectrum, has shown improvements while being part of a stem cell study being carried out at the Duke University in the United States.
The trial involves using four-year-old Apratim's stem cells that were extracted from his umbilical cord blood to treat signs of autism.
The trial is the second one being carried out at the Duke University. There are over 165 children who are part of the trial. They are all between two-six years of age.
Autism is a developmental disorder that affects the child’s social skills, speech, and behavior issues. There is no clear idea about what causes autism.
Apratim was a premature baby, born at 36 weeks. He achieved all the birth and development markers until he was 18 months old. After that, his parents noticed that he was not communicating like other children.
Autism is tough to diagnose. The symptoms usually become evident when the child is about two years old.
A doctor diagnosed Apratim with mild autism, with speech and communication as main issues.
His parents found out that the Autism Center at Duke University was conducting trials using the cord blood cells of children with autism to treat the disorder. Apratim's parents had preserved his cord blood during birth. After a number of tests, Apratim was infused with his own stem cells.
His parents say that in the last nine months the child has seen a significant change. Apratim is communicating more, his cognitive skills have improved, he has started school, and likes playing with friends.