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

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

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

Phase I Clinical Trial Results Released

In 2017, results from a Phase I Clinical Safety Trial infusing a child’s own cord blood stem cells in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine. The result can be read here:  Autologous Cord Blood Infusions Are Safe and Feasible in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

ViaCord, along with our parent company PerkinElmer, proudly provided support for this novel research which has now progressed into a Phase II Clinical Trial.

Phase II Clinical Trial Underway

The goal of Duke University Medical Center's Phase II Clinical Trial is to determine if there is a benefit from an intravenous infusion of autologous (the child’s own) cord blood or unrelated donor cord blood in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Duke University Medical Center is currently analyzing data from the Phase II research trial and not actively recruiting participants at this time. For more details visit or email for more info. 

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