Question: I am a parent of children, ages 2 and 5 with autism spectrum disorder. Do you think stem cell treatment would help and if so what kind of treatment would you suggest?
Dr. Riordan's Answer: We are studying whether or not intraveno...us human umbilical cord expanded mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) will help children on the autism spectrum. In cooperation with Dr. Sandy Lowe in New York we are just completing a prospective analysis of 14 case series of autism patients who were treated with 4 series of umbilical cord MSCs. We are analyzing the data from those who have completed treatment at the moment. Those patients were treated serially on 4 occasions, 3 months apart with 4 IV infusion of donor UC MSCs. So far 7 of the patients have completed the trial, the other 7 are expected to finish by May of 2014.
Initial data back on suppression of the inflammatory cytokines that are very prominent in people with autism and the stop and reduction of the inflammatory cytokines can help with the disease process. Initial quantitative EEG data on each patient in the trial are also being analyzed. The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC—www.autism.com) scores are trending toward improvement in the cohort and are vastly improved in some individual cases. I will send the paper to Barbara when it comes out. We hope to submit for publication an article describing the effect of the cells by the middle of 2014.
For the person asking the question, as with anyone looking for medical advice for an individual (or individuals), I would suggest they contact our doctors and discuss the protocols with them to see if their children are candidates for treatment.
This is Kenneth's QEEG scans from 2007, two years before adult stem cells, and 2013 after six adult stem cell treatments. These are huge improvements. Dr. Lowe said that the 2007 scan looks like borderline seizures and would indicate that the brain was leading up to develop seizures. Dr. Fallapour told me that many areas in the brain are now functioning normally!!!
This is the 2007 scan when Ken was six years old.
This is Ken's scan today, 2013 at age 12! Wow!
This is a picture of the QEEG. Notice how almost all the red area is gone in the first head image! The other pictures show huge improvements, as well! See all the color changes indicating brain improvement. Green is normalized activity.
Today, the scans show that Ken has really good impulse control and there is no signs of Attention Deficit Disorder. Also, the brain is functioning normally, there are no longer any learning disabilities showing up in the scans.
This week, we were in New York city to see Dr. Fallahpour at the Brain Research Institute. He is going to review Ken's QEEG results from before stem cells back in 2007, and compare them with a QEEG done today. While in the city, we also sceduled an appointment with Dr. Lowe. Dr. Lowe is working on cutting edge research in autism treatments. He suggested we get a spect scan for Kenneth. Those results will be ready next week!
I am amazed at how doctors in the autiswm community and parents who think they are doctors try to market and capitalize stem cells. They then try to take credit for it. Anyone out there that thinks this is ian original idea, get your ego checked. You are reading about stem cells for autism all because Daniel Faiella went public with his story and took time to share his results with the autism community. For this he was greatly attacked.
Ken would not be almost recovered without Daniel Faiella's help. Thank you, Daniel and Ruth, for sharing your sons journey. www.RecoveringMatthew.blogspot.com is greatly missed.
There he stands by the sink, a scraper in his hand. Monotonous movements, looking out the window. In the backyard, the kids are laughing and playing. And he peels the carrots.
I look at his face. No expression. He just saved the world.
Where has he put all of his money? Where has it gone? Doesn't he know that we could have had a beautiful house on the ocean? Instead, he has voices and laughter and thoughts and dreams. He has done the impossible. It is not possible to do what he has done. Yet, he has done it.
Brains don't change. But, he has found a way to change Ken's brain. He has found a way to change Ken's life. He has found a way to change our lives. We were suppose to have a beautiful house on the ocean. He has changed that for us. Instead, we have a son who is normal. Yet, he stands peeling carrots and listening to the laughter.
I hope it was worth it--all the money you spent. I hope you are happy.
You are a man who has done what no one can do. You are a genius for your time. You are a pioneer. You are a visionary. You are a hero--brave, determined, and selfless, yet you stand by the sink peeling carrots.
Four years ago this month, we went to the Stem Cell Institute for Ken's first stem cell treatment...Today, Ken is pretty much normal. His conversations are interesting and engaging, mostly when he is talking to adults. His mind is always thinking, in a serene, methodical way--in ways that make you sit beside him and want to think with him. He has a million questions and LOVES to do schoolwork and history. Extra tutoring hours after school to fill his quest for information previously hidden from him. He is the epitome of perfection, perfect manners, helpful to his father, full of happiness and LIFE. He plays with his seven year old sister, i feel he is catching up, but they do have fun adventures. IQ testing done in 2007 showed his iq was 52. IQ testing in January came back 86.
We are in Panama this week for another stem cell treatment. This time, we have decided to get our first spinal infusion. Ken is proud to be brave and has impressed everyone with his calm, strong demeanor. He is an angel, a walking doll. I could not ask for a more loyal companion, confidant, and friend. How could my life be full of so many blessings?
Ken has gone to summer camp (overnight) for the week! He was so excited to go! Ken claims that he is no longer scared of the dark and can handle summer camp...It feels very strange to not have him home this week. He is having such a good time.
This is a major event in our lives. If you understand the type of autism Ken had, you would know what a miracle this is. To clarify, Ken is at camp on his own without any support or an aide--he is just like all the other campers. Pray for the families that are still struggling and cannot do this with their children. Stem cells have changed our lives.
It has been three years since we decided to treat Ken with umbilical cord blood stem cells (adult stem cells, THIS IS NOT EMBRYONIC). To remember what our life was like before this miraculous treatment is hard. We were not sure that the stem cells would work. All we knew is that the treatment was safe, that there were over 800 clinical trials in the US proving the safety of adult stem cells, and that Matthew Faiella had great results with the same treatment.
This is a radio interview that aired a few times statewide on a few Maine radio stations, The Maine View, with Ric Tyler. It can tell our thoughts and fears before venturing into this new, cutting edge therapy for our precious son.
We were one of the first to do this for autism. It was scary and exciting.
...Leave your fears behind and take the path less traveled by
Against the grain should be a way of life,
What is worth the prize is always worth the fight
So, shoot for the stars, regardless of who you are
Do whatever it takes, because you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way because the hands of time are never on your side...
Working on my new documentary, The Island Summer--celebrating healing and hope, while turning focus onto the simple pleasures of an unhurried life with the children...There are no cars, just bikes, and no televisions or computers this summer....
At low tide, you can walk to the island in the background...I think at high tide, boats pass through here...
The weather in Maine changes so quickly...It can be 50 degrees F on the ferry ride to the mainland! We are looking forward to a beautiful summer on Chebeague Island, off the coast of Maine. Ken has so many questions and explores the many beaches all day long. He brings home treasures of sea glass, sand dollars, and hermit crabs. The results from stem cells can be seen everyday in his amazing thoughts and vast imagination!! How lucky we are for such a miracle treatment!
Do you know what it is like for your child to not be able to speak to you? To not be able to tell you how his day was? What he wants to be when he grows up? What his favorite color is?
Do you know what it is like to have your child talk to you? To say that he doesn't want to miss the bus...That he wouldn't like to live in Texas because it is a desert and after 5 pm you can't go out because the snakes will bite you, they have plants with things on them that can hurt you ( but he forgot what they are called--cactus)....
Maybe I am lucky, because I know what both of those things are like...At eight years old, my child could not have a conversation with me. Just two short years later, he is so different. God has shown us mercy. Do you know what it is like to have God put His hands on your child's face and breathe life into his nostrils--for a second time?
Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. ...Genesis 2:7