Before asking, “where can I get stem cell treatment for ALS?,” you should pursue all treatment options to find the best one for you. ALS is a complex, often confusing disease that is hard to pinpoint with biomarkers.
Due to the short lifespan of sufferers, it can be challenging to conduct clinical trials because many of the patients do not live through to the end of the trial.
Mesenchymal stem cells do provide a promising therapeutic option for ALS that can slow the progression of the disease and extend the lifespan of sufferers. If you or a loved one are suffering from ALS, it’s important to know the treatment options available to you.
ALS Treatment Options You Should Know About
Your physician is the best source of information on finding treatment options for ALS that will work best for you. However, knowing the possible options will allow you to ask for a treatment that you think is best for you.
Some of the lifestyle changes that you can make can also be done on your own or in conjunction with other treatments.
Note: Always consult with your doctor prior to changing or adding any treatment options that can conflict with each other.
Diet And Nutritional Supplements
ALS patients often misunderstand the energy needs of someone with their condition. You need to maintain a healthy diet because it will help:
- Maximize your energy levels
- Improve your quality of life
- Slow muscle breakdown
- Improve immune system strength
It’s not uncommon to have a poor appetite or experience weight loss. Your dietary needs as someone with ALS are as much as three times higher than someone without ALS.
ALS stem cell treatment cost may be too high for some patients, but you do have the option to use cannabis. Cannabis is a potential therapeutic tool that can help with:
- Stress management
- Symptom relief
While cannabis cannot slow or stop ALS, it may help you better manage your symptoms.
Acupuncture may be effective at helping people with ALS relieve symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. Studies are inconclusive, but physical improvements and even muscle strength may improve after acupuncture.
ALS stem cell treatment options do include electrotherapy, such as using TENS units for muscle stimulation and pain relief. Electrotherapy can also help prevent some muscle wasting.
Lymphatic Drainage Therapy
Lymphatic drainage massages can help reduce swelling and pain while increasing range of motion, decreasing stiffness and helping patients feel happier.
ALS patients often suffer from all of these issues, and lymphatic massage and drainage can help ease symptoms.
Super Inductive System (SIS)
Super Inductive System, or SIS, is an innovative therapy that uses a high-intensity electromagnetic field to help heal the body. Gentle pulses of electromagnetic energy may help muscles heal faster, reduce spasticity and even improve blood circulation.
Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation for ALS
One promising treatment is stem cell therapy for ALS. Transplants using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a type of stem cell sourced from bone marrow, have been found to extend survival in patients with ALS.
In two clinical trials, the median time patients were able to live without permanent ventilatory support was 118 months, or 10 years. Currently, the predicted survival time for ALS is 70 months. One patient had a predicted survival of 91 months and was still alive at 303 months with no need for a breathing or feeding tube.
MSC transplantation continues to advance and show promise for ALS patients.
Exploring Gene Therapy in ALS
Gene therapy has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved the first gene therapy for ALS.
Gene therapy uses genetic instructions to produce a protein to treat a condition. It can be used to help treat a disease even if the therapy doesn’t target the gene defect directly.
In the case of ALS, gene therapy may be used to deliver a protein to help save dying nerve cells.
It can be challenging to use gene therapy to treat ALS, as only a small percentage of patients have a known gene defect. However, this form of therapy can still be used to provide supportive proteins for the patient’s nerve cells.
Tissue Engineering for ALS
Tissue engineering is a complex therapy that involves:
- Inoculating human tissue cells onto a bioscaffold.
- Incubating them in a suitable medium and in the presence of external growth factors, AND
- Transplanting them into the injured area.
The process of tissue engineering helps reduce the risk of immune rejections and another surgery, making it a potentially more effective treatment option.
Tissue engineering is rapidly evolving and advancing.
Many treatment options exist for ALS, but currently, there is still no cure for the disease. Advancements in ALS stem cell treatment may pave the way for the ability to slow the disease’s progression or potentially halt the disease.
While promising, many challenges still exist for researchers and patients, among them being ALS stem cell treatment cost. As these barriers are removed, stem cell therapy may become more accessible to patients.