ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that advances rapidly. Symptoms include nerve cell inflammation and loss of motor skills. ALS patients lose voluntary muscle control and experience difficulties speaking, walking, running, and even breathing. This is due to the fact that as the disease progresses, nerve cells begin to die at a rapid rate. Without timely medical intervention, the disease will eventually paralyze the patient, resulting in death due to respiratory failure.
Because of the rapid progression of ALS, scientists are rushing to find an immediate treatment. With the help of cell-based therapy, medical researchers are seeing a glimmer of hope.
What exactly is cell-based therapy?
Cell-based therapy uses the cells of a patient or a donor to treat a disease. It also has the potential to cure many other diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and various cancers, including heart failure.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
Mesenchymal stem cells are derived from adult bone marrow and secrete high levels of molecules known as factors that promote nerve tissue growth.
These nerve tissue stem cells stimulate the production of molecules that protect nerve tissue in the cerebral spinal fluid. Researchers believe that injecting ALS patients with fresh mesenchymal stem cells could slow the progression of symptoms.
Numerous clinical trials were conducted by credible institutions such as the University of Stanford and the University of Arizona to test their hypothesis. A group of researchers recruited 189 ALS patients aged 18 to 60 and divided them into two groups.
The first is a control group, and the second is a test group. The study was double-blind, which means that the researchers, patients, lab technicians, and everyone else involved in the clinical process have no idea which group is the placebo. Half of the participants received stem cell therapy, while the other half received a placebo. About 45 patients, mostly men in their 40s, had to withdraw from the procedure before it could be completed.
Those who survived were given the ALSFRS-R or the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised. This test works by assigning a simple motion task to each patient. They are then scored on a scale of 0 (no movement) to 4 (complete movement) ( they can perform normal motion). The lower the patient’s score, the faster the ALS disease progresses.
Patients’ motor skills were assessed monthly, and cerebral spinal fluid samples were taken.
Patients who received stem cell treatments improved in terms of biomarkers. Biomarkers indicate whether or not a person is responding to a particular treatment. They had an increase in VEGF, a protein that promotes new blood vessels, and their NfL levels were also lower, indicating that they had fewer dead neurons than ALS patients who were only given a placebo.
This encouraging progress in clinical trials gives medical researchers hope that Mesenchymal stem cells will hold the key to curing or treating ALS in the near future. While Mesenchymal stem cells cannot, in theory, stop the progression of ALS, they can provide ALS patients with future improvements and much-needed hope.
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NEW BREED OF HOMO SAPIENS
Stem cell therapy has resulted in incremental improvements, allowing stem cell advocates Lourdes Duque Baron and Michael York to continue living with incredible energy and immune systems.
Both recipients of billions of stem cells attest to the efficacy of this rejuvenating and enormously powerful treatment.
After being treated for Amyloidosis and Multiple Myeloma, Michael York, a well-known A-list actor, became an advocate for stem cells.
While 75-year-old Singer-Actress and Author Lourdes Duque Baron underwent stem cell therapy to treat her osteoporosis.
Lourdes Duque Baron, a staunch stem cell awareness advocate, will release the book New Breed of Homo Sapiens to further understand the immense value and possibilities of stem cell therapy.