The Journal of Pediatrics has recently released findings for a cord blood infusion study conducted in children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The study evaluated whether a child’s own umbilical cord blood could improve communication skills in children with autism.
The theory behind the study is based on the immune modulating cells found in cord blood. Referred to as “monocytes,” these cells help to reduce certain types of brain inflammation found in children with autism. Researchers sought a link between cord blood and reduced symptoms of autism in children age 2 to 7.
180 children participated in the study. Patients were separated into two groups: those without intellectual disabilities, and those with an intellectual disability. Studies suggest that approximately 40% of children with autism also have an intellectual disability.
Upon receiving an infusion of the patient’s own cord blood, the subgroup of children without an intellectual disability showed improvements in language communication, and also displayed an improved ability to sustain attention as measured through metrics such as eye tracking and increased strength of alpha & beta EEG frequencies.
The subgroup of children with an intellectual disability did not show improvement in language communication after the infusion of cord blood. Although notable improvements were not found in this group of children, researchers are encouraged by the initial results of the overall study and have started planning for future trials.
Researchers will now consider possible contributing factors such as the duration of the trial and instruments of measure as a way to better evaluate outcomes and refine future studies.
Cord blood continues to provide exciting and inspiring opportunities in the medical research community. For more information about cord blood and cord blood banking with MiracleCord, visit our information center or contact us today.