Autism and Cord Blood

Autism is a disorder that affects the brain's normal development of social and communication skills and appears in the first 3 years of life.103 Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of disorders characterized by “persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.” Although the exact causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder are still unknown, research suggests that both genes and environment play important roles.102

A Clinical Trial Underway

After completing a Phase I clinical research trial, Duke University Medical Center has moved into a Phase II clinical research trial of cord blood infusion for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The goal of the study is to determine if there is a benefit from an intravenous infusion of autologous (the child’s own) or unrelated donor cord blood to children with ASD. 
See study details below.

For a quick summary of the progress being made with clinical research studies, see our easy to read infographic.

Study Details

To be considered for inclusion in this study:

  • Your child must have a confirmed diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
  • Your child must be between 2-7 years of age.
  • You must be able to travel with your child to Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, U.S. on 2 separate occasions for 4 days each, 6 months apart.

To learn more about the study and requirements for participation visit:

If you would like to participate in the Duke study, please email Duke Study Team:

If Duke requests your cord blood information, complete and submit the Consent to Release Information Form.

Did you know?

In May 2014, the CDC published updated prevalence statistics in its summary report, “Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder among Children Aged 8 Years – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010,” The data presented by the CDC reports that 1 in 68 children are identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder. And the data also showed that ASD is almost five times more common among boys than girls: 1 in 42 boys versus 1 in 189 girls.101