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News and articles about ALS treatment

Enhanced Adult Stem Cell Treatment Halts ALS Progression 18 October 2014

A stem cell treatment for ALS and other incurable neurodegenerative diseases gets early efficacy proofs and is entering Phase II clinical trials in the US.

Transplanted neural stem cells treat ALS in mouse model 24 December 2012

In 11 independent studies, a consortium of ALS researchers shows that transplanting neural stem cells into the spinal cord of an ALS mouse model slows disease onset and progression, improves motor function, and significantly prolongs survival.

Autologous Stem Cell Trials for ALS Patients 29 July 2012

A clinical trial of stem cell therapy for ALS patients conducted by Israel-based BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics shows the treatment to be well-tolerated, safe and not presenting risk of side-effects, an interim safety review says.

Stem Cell Transplantation to Treat ALS Patients Proves Safe and Well-Tolerated 09 April 2012

According to the phase 1 study by Neuralstem (USA), transplantation of stem cells into the lumbar region of the spinal cord has proven safe and was well-tolerated by ALS patients who participated in the trial.

All news

ALS/MND

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Charkot’s disease, Charkot’s sclerosis, in English-speaking countries – Lou Gehrig’s disease), or motor neuron disease, is a progressing illness that manifests as gradual weakening and atrophy of muscles and lasts for two to five years (in very rare cases – for seven years) with 100% fatal outcome. The clinical picture is compliant with lesion of central and peripheral motor neurons that results in bulbar syndrome as well as muscular atrophy in extremities and respiratory muscles.

 

Major manifestations of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in patients include the following:
  • weakness;
  • muscle spasms;
  • disorders of speech and swallowing;
  • problems with keeping balance;
  • spasticity;
  • increased deep reflexes, or reflexogenic zone expansion;
  • pathological reflexes;
  • fibrillations;
  • atrophy;
  • hanging foot;
  • respiratory disorders;
  • paroxysms of involuntary laughter or cry;
  • depression.

Treatment of ALS with stem cells

Indications for ALS treatment with stem cells include confirmed ALS diagnosis, disease progression, and lack of response to existing treatment methods. Prior to year 2000, contraindications to treatment included respiratory failure, grade III, artificial lung ventilation, dysphagia, and presence of gastric stoma. However, nowadays Cell Therapy Center EmCell has experience of treating patients with the above-mentioned complications and disorders that allows for prolonging their life by more than five years.
 

After transplantation of fetal stem cells, 67% of ALS patients note diminishing weakness, improvement of appetite and mood, decrease in intensity of fasciculations and spasticity. Within two months after transplantation, increase of motion volume in extremities, decrease in muscular rigidity, normalization of reflexes, decrease in the number of fasciculation zones, better tolerability of daily chores, reduction in intensity of dysphagia and dysarthria (improvement of swallowing, articulation, and clarity in pronunciation of words) have been observed in 34% of patients. Stable positive clinical effect after treatment persists for three to six months.

 

About 48% of patients need to repeat the course of treatment during the year for retaining the attained positive results. In 25% of cases, patients need periodic transplantations of stem cells every 1.5–2 years. Duration of the ALS treatment course at Cell Therapy Center EmCell, as a rule, totals 2 days.

 

Transplantation of fetal stem cells does not combat the immediate cause of the disease (to date, the exact cause of disease has not been found); however, it exerts substantial influence on links of the pathological process and slows down disease progression. Transplantation of fetal stem cells improves the quality of life of ALS patients and their ability to work, and prolongs their life.
 

Appendix

Experience of ALS treatment at Cell Therapy Center EmCell
 
Fetal stem cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (poster presentation)
English, pdf, 930 kb
 
 

Patients' feedbacks

The patient F.T.G., 47 years old. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cervical form, marked flaccid tetraparesis
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