Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disorder affecting social, language, and behavioral skills. To date, autism has no cure and an increasing number of known cases. In the United States alone, 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism.
Duke researchers are investigating the ability of cord blood to treat a number of diseases. Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, who’s the professor of pediatrics and pathology, founder of the PBMT program and pioneer of umbilical cord blood transplantation, along with her team, have been conducting clinical trials to better understand the efficacy of umbilical cord blood as a regenerative treatment. Her findings have “made her optimistic about the future of this potential therapy”.
Kurtzberg has completed phase 1 of the clinical trial, and is starting phase 2. The phase 2 clinical trials being co-led by Kurtzberg and Geraldine Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.