Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a condition that affects both the peripheral and central nervous systems. In most patients, ALS affects the physiological systems that control muscle movements.
Trained neurologists can accurately diagnose ALS in patients who present symptoms.
Most people who develop the condition are diagnosed between the ages of fifty and seventy. Younger people rarely suffer from ALS.
About 1.5 out of every 100,000 people are diagnosed with ALS, and men experience this illness at a slightly higher rate than women.
Underlying Causes of ALS
Researchers have found some rare hereditary forms of ALS. But in most cases, the specific causes of the condition are unknown.
There is some evidence that ALS occurs due to the loss of motor neurons inside the brainstem, cortex, or spinal cord. But in most cases, the underlying reason for this loss of neurons is unclear.
Some scientists think that oxidative stress is responsible for the loss of motor neurons. Oxidative stress involves:
- Free radical production
- Accumulations of some types of proteins, including SOD1 and TDP43
These types of oxidative stress may lead to the various symptoms that ALS patients experience.
Effectiveness of Stem Cell Therapy for ALS
Stem cells are one type of “simple” cell. When stem cells divide, they can produce many kinds of more complex cells. Because of this, stem cell therapies are thought to be useful for helping manage a wide range of conditions and their symptoms.
These studies indicate that mesenchymal stem cells may:
- Protect patients’ motor neurons.
- Decrease the rate of cell death.
- Promote the production of neurotrophic factors.
- Reduce the most common types of oxidative stress.
- Function in an anti-inflammatory capacity.
Much of the current research involves tracking ALS symptoms in animal models. This type of research supports the development of future cell-free treatment options.
MSCs are still an experimental approach to ALS treatment. Larger clinical trials will be necessary to gather more substantive data.
However, the available research gives patients and their doctors a reason to hope. Stem cell therapies have the potential to improve patients’ quality of life and potentially slow the progression of ALS.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for ALS, also known as Stem cell treatment for ALS. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.