Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a serious nervous system condition that causes the degradation of nerve cells over time. Unfortunately, there is no cure for ALS and traditional treatment options are focused on slowing the progression of this disease.
Many ALS patients have explored an alternative treatment option with regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy. Stem cells have been studied to show potential benefits for helping patients manage this condition in clinical trials. While further research is still being conducted, many patients are looking toward what benefits may be possible with stem cell therapies for ALS.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at what ALS is and how stem cell therapy may be a supplemental therapy.
What is ALS?
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by the slow, progressive death of the brain and spinal cord’s motor neurons. These neurons are responsible for voluntary movements. Over time, ALS patients may lose the ability to walk, talk, swallow, or in severe cases, breathe.
As more motor neurons deteriorate, the muscles that these neurons control begin to waste away, as well. The progression of this condition usually takes about three to five years after diagnosis. However, ALS progression may be able to be slowed with a multi-disciplined intervention.
What Are the Current Treatments for ALS?
Standard ALS treatment protocols involve a variety of disciplines. Most patients receive neurological interventions, physical therapy, and oral medications. Some patients are also paired with social workers to help them cope with their diminished physical capabilities.
The medications prescribed to ALS patients usually include muscle relaxants and drugs designed to slow the progression of physical decline. However, these medications are not right for everyone.
During physical therapy, a provider will focus on reducing discomfort and helping patients to maintain muscle strength. They will also teach breathing techniques to help the patient compensate for their reduced control over voluntary movements.
Stem Cells and ALS
Stem cells are essentially the body’s raw building blocks. These cells can divide and transform into a variety of different specialty cells, adapting to fill the role of cells that have been damaged by ALS.
While stem cell therapy for ALS is still in its early stages, it has the potential to provide benefits to patients who are suffering from this degenerative condition.
Some of these potential benefits include:
- Repairing nerve damage
- Slowing the progression of the disease
- Improving motor skills
- Increasing energy levels
While these results are not guaranteed, they do represent a serious step forward in terms of ALS treatment. This is especially true for patients who have not had success using traditional ALS interventions.
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.