Experts Question Rationale for Stem Cell Trial for Autism

July 26, 2019

(Spectrum) – The results echo those of a 2017 study at Duke University that reported that infusions of stem cells taken from stored umbilical cord blood are safe. “When there’s more than one group reporting similar results, it tends to look more like a validation,” says Arnold Kriegstein, professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. But he cautions that the findings are about safety only, and neither study tested the treatment against a placebo. There is also no convincing explanation for how the stem cells might treat autism, he says.Other experts question the ethics of making families pay to participate in such trials.