Cord Blood Study Provides Insights on Benefits, Limits for Autism Treatment

Dawson, Kurtzberg lead ground-breaking study

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Picture of Dr. Dawson
Dr. Geraldine Dawson

In a recent study, Duke researchers tested whether a single infusion of a unit of a child’s own or donor cord blood could improve social communication skills in children between the ages of 2-7 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Of the 180 children in the study, the subgroup of children without an intellectual disability showed improvements in language communication, ability to sustain attention measured via eye tracking, and increased alpha and beta EEG power, a measure of brain function. However, those who also had an intellectual disability did not show social communication function improvement after the infusion.

The findings were published online May 19 in The Journal of Pediatrics.Geraldine Dawson, PhD, DIBS Director and Director of the Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development, was first author. She collaborated with Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, Director of Duke's Marcus Center for Cellular Cures. Read more HERE.