Standard treatment protocols for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are typically focused on educating and managing the severity of symptoms they may be facing. However, stem cell-based therapy is an alternative option for managing this condition and its symptoms. This optional therapy has been the subject of several studies in recent years and the initial results have shown positive outcomes. Here we will talk about Stem cell therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, involves the administration of a concentrated volume of stem cells to targeted areas. It is a management tool to potentially slow down the progression of ALS as well as help to manage symptoms or the development of new symptoms.
Stem cells are naturally present in the body. Mesenchymal stem cells are the most commonly used in cell-based therapies. They can be derived from autologous (Adipose or Bone Marrow) and allogeneic tissues (Wharton’s Jelly). Studies have shown these to be safe and potentially effective for their regenerative and therapeutic properties.
Below, we’ll examine the potential benefits of cell-based therapies for ALS.
Often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a neurodegenerative condition that is characterized by a progressive breakdown in motor skills and voluntary control of movements. The condition can progress quickly or slowly over time.
Some of the most common symptoms of ALS include:
- Difficulty walking
- Frequent falling and tripping
- Weakness in the hands
- Slurred speech
- Muscle cramps
- Inappropriate laughing or crying
- Behavioral and cognitive changes
Potential Application of Stem Cells for Managing ALS
Currently, the potential benefits of stem cell therapy for ALS are still being researched and studied. With that being said, early data is has shown to be promising.
Patients who have had little success with conventional protocols or may want to add to their current therapies have been exploring stem cell therapy to potentially slow the progression of the disease and help manage symptoms. Mesenchymal stem cells help stimulate the body’s natural healing capabilities and have the ability to regenerate damaged tissues.
A clinical trial showed results that support that stem cells could potentially reduce functional impairments. Patients in the trial experienced no significant side effects and the procedure was tolerated well by all of the trial participants.
Stem cells are safe for repetitive use, as well, which means that patients can receive ongoing maintenance treatments if the therapy provides positive results even if this result is slowing down or stabilizing the progression of the condition.
The hope is that there will soon be additional, large-scale randomized control trials on stem cell therapies for ALS in the future. These types of trials would provide further insights into the potential of this treatment option for ALS patients.
Fortunately, access to stem cell therapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ( ALS ) is currently available, which gives patients additional therapy options when exploring how to help manage their condition and symptoms.