An 11-year -old boy with a severe case of autism finds hope with stem cell treatment that allowed him to speak his first sentence.
Danny Bullen was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in 2010. His condition led to a number of developmental delays including a total loss of verbal ability.
Stem Cell For Autism
Prior to stem cell treatment, Danny cannot communicate his basic needs, including tasks such as going to the toilet. The Bullen family traveled to the Art and Science Surgicenter in Miami from Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands in March to undergo the first round of stem cell treatment.
The procedure reportedly cost $15,000. Doctors said he had to undergo the treatment twice or thrice for better results. The family is looking forward to having a repeat treatment in August that would cost $10,000.
"Doctors introduced umbilical cord blood stem cells with cells from my son's bone marrow and adipose tissue. He had his first treatment in March, and the early signs are very encouraging. He is much more alert and has already started to use a few new words," said Danny's father, Lee Bullen, the author of the Beset, which documents his experiences and challenges of having a child with autism.
Danny also benefited from gluten and lactose-free diet. He has shown improvements on a number of autoimmune diseases. The family is doing a second round of crowdsourced funding to raise €30,000 ($33,910).
Miracle By Stem Cell
Autism is an incurable lifetime disease, but hospitals are beginning to integrate stem cell treatment to manage the symptoms. Research has shown that human embryonic stem cell therapy is effective in improving the blood flow in the brain. Autistic patients also improved their motor skills, socialization, and cognitive function as a result of the treatment.
A study published in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience reported that human embryonic stem cells improved the conditions of three pediatric patients. Some of the most notable progress were eye coordination, balance, writing, cognition, and speech.
"Stem cells, in general, come in different types. And their basic property is they could make more stem cells like themselves, or they can turn into specialized cells such as muscle cells, blood cells, brain cells, and whatever," said Dr. Thom E. Lobe, a pediatric surgeon at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System.
Researchers are looking to achieve the same remarkable results in larger patient groups.