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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis And Stem Cells

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis And Stem Cells

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis gained popularity after famous baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease.  In fact, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis has been dubbed “Lou Gehrig’s disease” for short.  Stephen Hawking was another notable person who succumbed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  The disease is progressive meaning as people age, it tends to get worse, even with treatment.  Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is one of the most heartbreaking diseases because the body slowly atrophies while the mind stays fully intact.  As a result, there has been a lot of research on prevention and treatments for the disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rare disease and it is not known what exactly causes the disease to develop.  There are thoughts it could have genetic components, environmental components, and autoimmune components.  However, it is very difficult to treat because the exact cause is unknown.  People who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis may notice small delays in movement which grow worse as the disease progresses.  Eventually, patients lose the ability to walk and even breathe on their own.  Most patients diagnosed with the disease have between three to five years to live after the onset of symptoms.

Currently, there is no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  Those diagnosed with the disease will eventually succumb to the disease.  The treatments that exist are aimed at addressing the symptoms as opposed to curing the disease.  Various forms of therapy and prescription medications have been shown to lengthen the life of those diagnosed with the disease, but they do not offer cures.  An amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnosis can have severe psychological effects on a person.  The disease can be very difficult to come to terms with for the person affected, and their loved ones.  As a result, most patients with the disease require a medical team of various professionals to help them navigate the disease.

While currently, only treatments for symptoms exist, stem cell therapy has shown promise by offering a potential treatment for those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  Stem cell therapy works by repairing or replacing the damaged nerve and motor cells which contribute to the progressive nature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  There is hope that if diagnosed and treated early with stem cell therapy, physicians may be able to stop the progression of the disease, or even repair the damage that has already occurred.  However, treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is still in clinical trial phases and has a long way to go before it is an approved treatment for the general public.

Those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis undergo a lot after their diagnosis.  It takes time to come to terms with the diagnosis and the diagnosis takes a big toll on a person’s physical health.  Although amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rare disease, there is a lot of research that goes into better understanding the disease.  While there is currently no cure, and treatments are minimal, there is hope that one day, stem cell therapy will offer a cure for those suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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