Treatments & Research

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Autism and Cord Blood

What is Autism?

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

Cord Blood’s Role in Autism Research

The special properties of cord blood stem cells

Properties of cord blood stem cells may address multiple causes of degeneration and dysfunction associated with ASD. Properties include the ability to: 

  Rebuild - Neural pathway remodeling, neuroprotective.120

•  Support Endogenous Repair - Increased perfusion, neovascularization.121

•  Modulate Environment - Immune modulation, anti-inflammatory. 122

In the News: Autism and Cord Blood [Video Courtesy of CNN]

Clinical Trials - Autism and Cord Blood

Phase I Clinical Trial Results Released

Novel research results from Duke University’s Robertson Clinical and Translational Cell Therapy Program were recently published and indicate encouraging developments related to using a baby’s own cord blood stem cells to help kids with Autism.


Read about ViaCord's role in the Phase I Clinical Trial >> 

Read published results in Stem Cell Translational Medicine  >>

Phase II Clinical Trial Underway


Duke University Medical Center has moved into a Phase II Clinical 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. For more details visit

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