The main goals when treating children with autism are to lessen associated deficits and family distress and to increase the quality of life and functional independence. Current available therapeutic approaches for autism can be broadly classified into behavioral, educational, medical, allied health, and complementary and alternative medicine interventions. However, there is no defined standard treatment intervention and only early intervention seems to be effective.
Role of stem cells
Cellular therapy in autism aims to address neurologic, gastrointestinal and immunologic disturbances. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) show promise in the management of autistic children, likely owing to their immunomodulatory capacities. Treatment of immune dysregulation ameliorates intestinal and systemic symptoms and neurologic function. MSCs also secrete anti-inflammatory cytokines and survival-promoting growth factors. These cells can also integrate into neural networks thereby restoring plasticity. Studies have shown that administration of MSCs improves some behavioral symptoms and function in autistic children.