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Effect of Bone Marrow Derived Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation on Cerebral Metabolism of a 20-year-old Autistic Patient

Anant E Bagul, Prakash Jadhavar, Sachin Jamadar, Smita Bhoyar, Krishnaveni Gadiraju


Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by clinically significant impairment in social, occupational and other important areas of normal functioning. The autistic brain shows altered neurochemical metabolism, such as decreased glucose uptake, increased concentrations of lactate and reduced concentrations of N-acetyl-aspartate. Besides behavioral therapies and medications for autism-associated conditions such as seizures and gastrointestinal distress, there are no U.S. FDA approved pharmacological therapies to treat Autism’s core pathology. Stem cell transplantation is a promising option as it targets the core developmental abnormality in the brain through tissue regeneration. Here, we have studied the effect of autologous bone marrow derived stem cell (BMSC) transplantation on the cerebral metabolism of a 20-year-old autistic female patient who was given a total of three intrathecal infusions with 10 X 107 BMSC in each infusion. FDG-PET scan performed six months post-treatment showed significant increase in brain metabolism, evidenced by increased uptake of fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) by the parenchymal cells of the temporal and parietal lobe compared to the scan performed before intervention. There was a remarkable improvement in her eye contact, social judgment and communication skills. Her IQ increased from 52 to 80 and her Childhood Autism Rate Scale score shifted from above to below 30. There were no adverse effects of any sort and betterment in the girl’s condition could be demonstrated by her scores on the Quality Of Life Scale.


Autism, cerebral metabolism, bone marrow derived stem cell infusion

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