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Stem Cell Therapy for Autism

Posted Feb 09 2010 4:55pm

There are many unproven therapies being used by alternative medicine practitioners on autistic kids. One newer “therapy” is the use of stem cells.

I have yet to see even a good explanation of why stem cells should work. Not even a fully thought out bad reason. And, yet, kids are being “treated” with stem cells.

For those who would like a rundown of stem cells, their use and the potential problems, I refer you to Promtheus’ A Photon In The Darkness blog and his post, Stem Cell Therapy for Autism.

Not to steal his thunder, but here is the part that I am having trouble getting out of my mind. A child was given multiple stem cell “treatments”. Later he developed recurring headaches. On testing…well, Prometheus says it:

In short, this lad had two separate brain and spinal cord tumours. Under the microscope, these tumours were not cancerous, but looked like disorganized neural tissue. When they were tested genetically, the tumours did not match the patient’s genetic markers. They were, in fact, from two separate donors.

Many alternative medical therapies appear to be basically harmless. Give a kid some extra vitamin, or change his/her diet. Stem cell therapy does not fall into that category. When a risk/benefit calculation is done, what can you say but there is significant risk and no discernible benefit.

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