Down Syndrome - a genetic disorder - is incurable. However, stem cell experts have reached a conclusion that stem cell treatment can lead to some improvement giving better life even if no permanent cure can be promised.
A three-year-old baby - born with Down Syndrome having subnormal motor skills - has shown improvement after undergoing stem cell treatment at a hospital in New Delhi, doctors said.
Rahul (name changed) was born preterm due to premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and was kept in intensive care unit (ICU) for two days due to respiratory distress.
The baby was admitted with complaints of delayed milestones, lack of voice, cardiac defects, slanted eyes and with no neck holding capacity.
According to the doctor, the patient underwent two sessions of stem cell therapy of which the first session lasted approximately three months.
"By the end of three months, the muscle tone was better in all limbs. He (patient) had started babbling and crawling. He was social and was able to recognize his near ones after the first session. Better outcomes were observed with no adverse events," said Geeta Shroff, stem cell expert with city-based Nutech Mediworld.
According to Shroff, the results and improvements have shown that the new medical technology has the potential to replace damaged neurons, re-establish lost axonal connections, and provide treatment for various neural and congenital disorders.
"Embryonic stem cell lines used during the treatment have been derived from a single spare fertilized egg that donated during a IVF cycle. This fertilized egg would have otherwise been medical waste," Shroff said.
About 50% of all babies born with Down syndrome are also born with a congenital heart defect.