October 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Autism

3 min read

In 2014, I reported on a groundbreaking, but debated Duke stem cell-based clinical trial being launched for autism. Where does that trial stand today? (note that as of 2018-2020 I am very skeptical about stem cells for autism) The cord blood trial has continued. It is led by Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, whom I interviewed about cord blood stem cells back in 2013 (see part 1 and part 2), where she provided some fascinating background. It is also notable that on the stem cell autism trial front, other efforts …Read More

3 min read

Is there real promise of stem cells for autism? At this point the jury remains out on that question, but a growing number of kids are nonetheless getting such “treatments” at for-profit dubious clinics. Academic clinical researchers are interested in this area as well. Still, the potential use of stem cells to treat autism is a highly controversial area even in a clinical trial setting. Today it was announced in a piece on the website of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative that a dramatically …Read More

4 min read

There is a critical need for treatments for children with autism. 2020 update: see this more recent post on my thinking on stem cells for autism. About a year ago I wrote about a clinical trial at Sutter Health in Sacramento that was approved by the FDA for stem cells for autism. At that time I was relatively less concerned about the trial. Over time, as I’ve learned more, I’ve gotten quite worried about it, a concern I discuss in my new book on …Read More

3 min read

Autism affects millions of children in the U.S. alone; could stem cells for autism help? It is a perplexing spectrum of disorders with “autism” being an umbrella term for a host of related neurological illnesses. The negative impact of autism on our society transcends economics, but has been estimated at 10s of billions of dollars. There is currently no cure or even fully validated treatment for autism. Part of the problem is that scientists do not really understand what causes autism. Without an understanding …Read More