There is no cure for Down syndrome yet. However, medical professionals may have just found a treatment that can significantly help patients who have the syndrome, The Economic Times reported.
That remedy is stem cells.
"Doctors treated a baby who has Down syndrome with stem cells."
Recently, doctors in New Delhi treated a baby who has Down syndrome with stem cells, and the outcome was remarkable.
Geeta Shroff, a stem cell expert working Nutech Mediworld, said that soon after being treated, many parts of the baby's body were notably improving.
"By the end of three months, the muscle tone was better in all limbs. [The patient] had started babbling and crawling. He was social and was able to recognize his near ones after the first session," said Shroff, according to The Economic Times.
The baby, who was born ahead of schedule because of a premature rupture of the mother's membranes, went through two sessions of the stem cell therapy.
"Embryonic stem cell lines used during the treatment have been derived from a single spare fertilized egg that donated during an IVF cycle," Shroff said. "This fertilized egg would have otherwise been medical waste."
Down syndrome is a serious condition, which occurs when a person is born with an extra copy of his or her 21st chromosome. This results in the individual developing various mental and physical disabilities or defects, according to Healthline. Certain health issues associated with Down syndrome are much more serious and can include, according to Down Syndrome Education International, respiratory infections, leukemia, heart defects and hearing loss.
As stated above, Down syndrome remains incurable, but the results from the stem cell therapy procedure in New Delhi are promising. The baby, according to the source, had cardiac defects, delayed milestones and lacked a voice, and nonetheless showed physical and mental progress in a relatively short period of time. This happened because stem cells have the unique ability to replace damaged cells, such as neurons.
While additional studies would be needed to determine if stem cells can help those with Down syndrome to an even greater degree, some might see this case as a bit of a breakthrough.