Does Stem Cell Therapy Help Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare condition of the neurological system. It attacks the nerve cells that control the voluntary muscle movements we depend on for daily functions like walking, chewing, and talking. ALS is a progressive condition, which means symptoms can worsen over time. It is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, named after the famous baseball player and courageous man who brought national attention to this illness.
There is no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but new studies on regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, may offer hope to ALS patients to manage their condition.
The Symptoms of ALS
ALS affects one to two people out of 100,000 each year. Most people with ALS are diagnosed with the disease between the ages of 50 and 70. Men carry a slightly higher risk of developing ALS than women.
Impairments from ALS are typically limited to the motor nervous system. Mental impairments are rare but may also occur. The symptoms of ALS include:
- Muscle twitches in the legs, arms, shoulders, and tongue
- Muscle cramps and tight, stiff muscles
- Muscle weakness
- Slurred or nasal speech
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
The onset of symptoms is usually subtle and difficult to detect. With time, people with ALS begin to be impacted by a loss of coordination and fine motor control. These symptoms may present challenges for patients seeking to retain independence in daily functioning.
Can Stem Cell Therapy Help?
Stem cell therapy is an alternative therapy used in regenerative medicine — a branch of medical care that treats autoimmune, orthopedic, and neurodegenerative conditions like ALS. Stem cell therapy is one option that is being explored as an addition or alternative to traditional treatments.
Stem cells hold the potential to differentiate into almost any other type of cell and regenerate themselves. These cells may be able to help regenerate nerve pathways that have been damaged by ALS.
Stem cell therapy is not a cure, but results from studies show that it may be effective in improving the symptoms of ALS. Results from studies also show that it has the potential to slow the progression of the disease, improve motor skills, and repair damaged nerves.
Though it is still considered an experimental treatment by the FDA, studies have demonstrated that stem cell therapy can be safe when used to treat ALS.
Patients considering stem cell treatment must keep their expectations realistic and consider all treatment options carefully.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for ALS, also known as ALS Stem cell treatment. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.