Stem Cell Treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): All you need to know
By R3 Stem Cell Pakistan
What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects both the central and peripheral nervous systems. It occurs when the neurons that govern voluntary muscles start to experience gradual death.
This neural damage affects the motor neuron signaling which results in loss of muscle control. It primarily affects the muscles of the arms and legs. ALS is sporadic meaning anyone between the ages of 40 to 70 years can develop it. A considerable number of patients only make up to 5 years of diagnosis.
Accounting for around 70% of all MND cases ALS is the most common motor neuron disease (MND). However, the causes behind this disease are still not known and only 5% of ALS cases are inherited. Consequently, treating this disease is quite difficult.
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Symptoms of ALS:
The symptoms vary among all affected individuals depending on which neurons are affected first. These can start with muscle weakness in upper or lower limbs causing muscle spasticity and tightness that worsens over time. Most of the patients do not experience pain in the early stages.
Following are some of the frequently reported common and advanced symptoms.
Usually affecting arms and legs, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis slowly spreads throughout the body. This causes difficulty with normal daily activities.
Muscle Weakness: cramping, stiffness, and twitching in arms, shoulders, legs are one of the first symptoms of this neurodegenerative condition.
Issues with tongue and throat muscles: ALS can cause slurred speech and difficulties in swallowing
Inhibiting Moving: lack of motor signal coordination causes weakness, clumsiness, tripping, and falling in the patients.
Only a small number of patients report facing the advanced symptoms of ALS in the later stages of this disease.
Behavioral or Cognitive Challenges: Some patients experience a loss of adequate emotional response. They complain of inappropriate laughing, crying, or yawning.
Breathing Issues: Voluntary muscles are also involved in breathing. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses a lot of patients lose control over those muscles.
Bladder and Bowel Control: Some patients experience bladder and bowel issues as the disease advances.
Unfortunately, ALS is not completely treatable. Conventional medications and therapies can’t reverse the damage of this condition. They can slightly slow down the progression of the disease and only extend survival for only a few months at most.
On the other hand, advancements in the field of regenerative medicine have demonstrated favorable outcomes for patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Innovative treatments like stem cell therapy are now being used to address complex diseases. These diseases, including ALS, were formerly thought to be untreatable.
Stem cell therapy is an innovative treatment that is being used to address complex diseases like ALS
Stem Cell Therapy for ALS:
The stem cells are charged to create, repair, and regenerate in all living organisms. This responsibility assures their sharpness in detecting damage and inflammation. Once these cells detect the damaged tissues or cells they start to replace them.
The effectiveness of Stem cell therapy comes from various qualities the stem cells possess. As master cells of the body, they possess self-renewing, differentiating, and immuno-modulatory characteristics. These markers assist in approaching the diseases on different levels.
Cellular material extracted from different sources can be used for stem cell therapy. However, for neurodegenerative diseases umbilical and amniotic fluid cells are the most viable sources. This is because these are pluripotent stem cells that can mimic neuronal behavior.
Following are some aspects that can help us better understand how stem cells work for ALS patients on different levels.
Pluripotency / Differentiating
Stem cells are the only cells in the body that can specialize in the different classes of cells. They can evolve into required tissues that are disease-affected. However, in motor neuron conditions like ALS, the neurons are damaged.
Creating new neurons can be very challenging. This is why the administered stem cells differentiate into exclusive support cells like:
– Astrocytes: These cells guide and control the blood flow in the central nervous system.
– Microglia: These are immune cells that help against inflammation or infection in CNS.
Evolving into these support cells somehow neutralizes the effects of the conditions for neurons and they don’t die as immediately.
Mimicking Cell Behavior
Stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord or amniotic fluid are especially beneficial for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. This is because these cells mimic the behaviors of ALS-affected neurons. This imitation assists the potential recreation of identical neurons.
This assures the re-growth of healthy motor neurons.
Upon introduction, the stem cells accommodate the immune system. These cells provide a protective and nurturing environment for the damaged neurons. This slows down apoptosis or neuronal death resulting from disease damage.
These cells influence nerves and tissues by secreting neurotrophic factors. This helps produce more support cells. Stem cells improve motor neuron communication by modifying the synapse. These are the gaps between 2 neurons that assist the to and fro of motor signals.
To summarize, the stem cells delay the onset and progression of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. They do this by holding the rapid loss of motor neurons and releasing growth/ trophic factors. This restores the motor function. Thus, increasing the chances of patient survival. Stem cell treatment also encourages assistance of rehabilitation regimes like physical, speech, or breathing therapies.
ALS Treatment in R3 Stem Cell Pakistan
Heaps of clinical evidence encourage the use of stem cell therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. This is because the procedure is completely non-invasive and effective. Stem cell treatment not only stops the progression of the disease but also reverses its effects.
We hope this blog provided useful information about stem cell therapy and how it can benefit ALS sufferers. The Stem Cell Experts at R3 Stem Cell Pakistan are always available to assist and guide patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Our team of professionals is providing safe stem cell treatments.