Autism Treatments: Will Experimental Stem Cell Treatment Help?
Posted May 23 2009 10:11pm
While the autism world buzzes over the Chicago Tribune's demolition of the Geiers and the Lupron treatment the need for evidence based treatments that might cure autism disorders remains unfulfilled and largely ignored by the medical research establishment. ABA is a solidly evidence based intervention which can help autistic children make substantial communication, intellectual, behavioral and adaptive skills gains. But the demand for a complete cure for autism disorders remains and as long as it does some parents will seek out non-evidence based treatments for their child's autism. Of course, treatments can not become evidence based unless experiments are undertaken. Hopefully, as in anything involving children, the best interests of the individual child involved will always be considered of primary importance.
13WHAM.com of Rochester reports that the parents of a Rochester, New York boy with autism are beginning their own autism "experiment" with stem cell treatment. WHAM.com reports that the Patterson family are taking their autistic son to Peru for stem cell treatment. The experimental treatment will cost $25,000. The Pattersons will be accompanied by Dr. Burton Feinerman:
"Dr. Burton Feinerman, a Mayo Clinic trained cellular therapy specialist, is working with the Pattersons. He has used the stem cell procedure on children who’ve had strokes, brain injuries and other neurological problems."
WHAM.com reports that the Pattersons have been assured that the procedure is safe although they have been no guarantees of success. Hopefully the procedure is indeed safe for the Patterson boy. The presence of a Mayo Clinic trained cellular therapy specialist, with actual experience in stem cell procedures, during the treatment suggests that it will be. Hopefully too the necessary steps will be taken to ensure that, whatever the outcome for the boy involved the results will have some scientific value, will be of some use in assessing the merits of this particular form of autism treatment, whether those results show promise ... or not.