Treatment approaches to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) have made significant advancements in the last few decades.
Since the 1990s, researchers have been looking at the efficacy of stem cells when it comes to slowing the progression of ALS. They have found that stem cells may be a viable option, depending on the age and overall condition of the patient.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Also known as motor neuron disease, ALS is a progressive neurological condition that damages the spinal cord and causes loss of motor nerve cells. This weakens the muscles and eventually leads to muscle atrophy. ALS most often affects the entire spinal cord, including the brain stem.
What Are the Early Signs of ALS?
To slow down the progression of ALS, early detection and treatment are essential. Diagnosing ALS relies on identifying symptoms as soon as possible. The following are some of the most common symptoms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis:
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Slurred speech
- Muscle cramps
- Difficulty holding objects
- Uncontrollable laughing or crying
These symptoms can be attributed to other neurological disorders, but it is always important to rule out ALS. If you notice any of these indicators, you see a neurologist to receive an early diagnosis and begin appropriate treatment.
Stem Cells for ALS Treatment
There are numerous treatment options when it comes to slowing the progression of ALS. One of the more innovative approaches is stem cell therapy. Research has shown that stem cells may be able to halt the progression of motor neuron damage and help keep the spinal cord healthier.
Stem cells may be a viable alternative option for ALS because they have the ability to turn into neurons when they come into contact with dying nerve cells. They can also turn into muscle cells. This can effectively strengthen muscles that are weakening because of ALS.
The stem cells used in ALS treatment are typically harvested from the patient, which some may consider a natural treatment option. Mesenchymal stem cells are taken from the patient’s bone marrow or adipose tissue. The efficacy of stem cells when treating ALS depends largely on the patient’s age and presenting condition.
Younger patients in the earliest stages of the disease often may see more significant improvement. These patients can experience a decrease in muscle weakness and maintain their mobility longer than older patients or those who are in the later stages of the disease.
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 therapy. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.