Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Autism and Stem Cell Tourists

In "Stem Cell Tourists" Go Abroad for Unproven Treatments National Geographic News reports on the growing numbers of Americans traveling abroad to seek stem cell treatment for a variety of conditions including Parkinson's, Diabetes, heart disease and emphysema. The NG article reports expert concerns about stem cell treatment being oversold as proven therapy rather than experimental, the risk of harmful complications and great expense for the patients. Although autism is not mentioned in the NG article Autism Spectrum Disorders are amongst conditions for which stem cell treatments are offered outside the United States and Canada.

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1 comment:

Maya M said...

You can read about such a case in my country in my blog:
My criticism in this post is quite mild because I am criticizing the people who pay me the salary checks, but I find these "treatments" outrageous. Besides the reasons listed, there is at least one additional cause for concern - that the patients are vulnerable people whose ability to give informed consent is compromised by their very conditions (and if we are speaking about autistic children, also by their age). I don't know whether the Bulgarians who were given brain injections of stem cells included autistic people or were only victims of trauma, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.