ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a disease which results in the death of motor neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Symptoms of ALS include stiff muscles, muscle twitching, muscle atrophy, and generalized progressive weakening of affected voluntary muscles. This often affects a person’s ability to swallow, speak, walk, and breathe.
The cause of ALS is not well understood, but is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors.
Unfortunately, there is no cure available for ALS and most conventional treatments look at trying to alleviate symptoms.
Many researchers are looking toward stem cell treatments to try and cure ALS, but at this time the most successful trials have only aided in slowing down or temporarily stopping the progression of the disease. The goal of stem cell treatment for ALS is to improve the patient’s quality of life and try and regain some of the function that they have lost.
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The most current research regarding stem cells and ALS is given below:
Abstract: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a lethal disease involving the loss of motor neurons. Although the mechanisms responsible for motor neuron degeneration in ALS remain elusive, the development of stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of ALS has gained widespread support. Here, we review the types of stem cells being considered for therapeutic applications in ALS, and emphasize recent preclinical advances that provide supportive rationale for clinical translation. We also discuss early trials from around the world translating cellular therapies to ALS patients, and offer important considerations for future clinical trial design.
Although clinical translation is still in its infancy, and additional insight into the mechanisms underlying therapeutic efficacy and the establishment of long-term safety are required, these studies represent an important first step towards the development of effective cellular therapies for the treatment of ALS. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4225704/
Stem Cell Transplantation Shows Potential as ALS Therapy, Study Suggests