Stem Cell Therapy for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Sadly, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS affects more than one or two people in 100,000 people in the U.S. every year. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS is a very complicated condition, and 95% of its causes remain unknown. Only 5% of these factors seem to be genetically transmitted to the children.
Most of the time, ALS disease affects people around 50-60, but it can happen at other ages (Stephen Hawking was in his early 20s when first diagnosed). Currently, there is no apparent cure for ALS, but scientists are working at better treatments as we speak. Stem cell therapy for ALS disease is probably the latest therapy to give promising results, helping us believe in more efficient treatment in the years to come.
Why do scientists look into stem cell therapy for ALS?
The last couple of years have brought a significant breakthrough in the therapy. Research on ALS has revealed that stem cell therapy has positive effects on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Stem cells are seen as an essential tool to identify the leading causes of ALS, but also for creating new treatments. The therapeutic capacities of these cells are amazing, regardless of whether we refer to the neural stem cells made from embryonic cells or the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
Stem cell therapy is slowly becoming an essential alternative treatment for ALS patients. Professionals use various kinds of stem cells, with pluripotent stem cells (iPCS), as the most effective for stem cell therapy.
IPCS is obtained from adult human tissues and counts because they can become astrocytes. The latter will sustain the motor neuron that is affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Mesenchymal stem cells are also efficient for stem cell therapy. In this case, the cells are collected from the patient’s bone marrow or the adipose tissue. The cells will be altered for increasing their ability to generate neurotrophic factors that protect and sustain the motor neuron.
What do ALS patients experience?
ALS disease impacts both the lower and upper motor nerve cells, making the patients deal with involuntary spasm and weak muscles after some time. The incontrollable spasticity will aggravate the symptoms of patients, lowering the quality of life. Difficulties in moving, breathing, speaking, slurred speech, muscle stiffness, and muscle cramps are the most common symptoms.
In 90% of the cases, the ALS disease causes are vague, as it’s a combination of genetic mutations and some environmental aspects coming into play. Only 10% of the patients the genes are transmitted from the parents.
With so many unknown factors causing the disease, it makes sense that there are many hidden aspects in terms of treatment as well. Any method is limited to work for a limited number of patients. In the last years, the tests of drugs have been sparse too.
Do drugs work for ALS patients?
At the moment, drugs will increase the length of life, but also the quality of life for the patients. However, we cannot talk about a curative treatment for ALS disease right now.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the cells that aren’t specialized just yet and will later become specific. They have a self-healing ability and are found naturally in the human body. They are incredibly useful for healing the affected areas in the human body. Matured or specialized cells are utilized for a degenerative disease like ALS, as they create particular structures and have specific roles.
How will they work for ALS patients?
The MSCs will be injected into the patient’s blood, and they will eliminate pro-angiogenic, neurotrophic, immuno-controlling, and anti-inflammatory factors. Primary growth factors, the brain-derived neurotrophic factor may also be released; they will protect the damaged motor neurons, stop the neuronal apoptosis (death of neurons), but also improve the synaptic connectivity between the motor neurons from the spinal cord.
Studies revealed that MSCs would generate an extracellular matrix for sustaining the neural cell attachment, extension, and growth. The neurotrophic abilities and capacity to reduce neuro-inflammation are an excellent reason scientists look into the benefits of stem cell therapy for ALS disease.
Risks vs. benefits of stem cell therapy
The risk of stem cell treatment in the case of adult autologous stem cells is minor. However, the procedure poses the same risks as any other regular surgical intervention with local anesthesia would. In the case of the autologous stem cell method, the cells are collected from the patient, so the risk of rejection is low. It’s the same for the side effects.
The treatment with cells from the patient will slow down the ALS symptoms and expand the patient’s lifespan. The limb movements will improve, whereas the fasciculation areas and the muscle tensions will decrease. The reflexes will become standard, the motor neurons in the spinal cord will work more efficiently, and the patient will also present better adjustment to daily stress. Word pronunciation and swallowing will also improve with stem cell procedures.
All in all, stem cell treatment enhances the possibilities for addressing the disease, with motor activity progresses, better emotional and mental functions as the most visible results. The overall health improves too. So far, the clinical trials with autologous stem cells proved them to be extremely safe.
How does the treatment take place?
A small number of cells will be collected from the patient’s body, with bone marrow or the adipose tissue as the most common sources. It would take around 200-300 million cells to see results.
At the most trustworthy clinics, a set of additional therapies will be used to increase the efficiency of the treatment. For example, at Holistic Sanctuary, the body is prepared with a natural detox. For stem cells to be highly functional, all chemical residues, toxic substances, and medications are first eliminated from the system with a natural detox. The patients also start a plant-based, raw, organic, and non-GMO dieting, so that the body receives only natural nutrients.
Even if stem cells are healthy, it has been revealed that certain aspects will make them even more useful. At Holistic Sanctuary, five proprietary vitamin IV drips will be administered to the patients, sustaining the stem cell treatment. Moreover, acupuncture, floatation, and HBOT methods will also be used, boosting them.
After the stem cells are collected from the patient, the substance will be separated and activated and inserted into the patient’s body. During the resting stage, the stem cells will travel in the body to the affected tissues, beginning to repair the damaged area. It may take 2-4 months until the results are easy to notice.
The list of benefits doesn’t stop here, as the treatment will also improve the overall health, leading to rejuvenation. The organs will be renewed, whereas the affected ones will be replaced.
Like any other treatment, stem cell procedure comes with risks, but patients need to see the bigger picture. It’s the procedure that improves ALS disease symptoms and reverses them, which no other treatment can do so far.
How much will ALS stem cell treatment cost?
Many aspects are affecting the price of the stem cell method. As it’s a revolutionary procedure, highly specialized professionals are involved in every step of the process. Professionals would have to collect the stem cells then separate and prepare the cells in individual labs. Once the stem cells are ready, they will be transported in particular recipients to maintain the quality. Only specific professionals will inject the stem cells, whereas medical professionals would supervise the treatment.
Even if the risk of side effects throughout the treatment isn’t significant, some unpleasant effects may occur. For example, at Holistic Sanctuary, emergency doctors and nurses are ready to intervene if something unexpected happens. Besides, the patients are closely watched 24/7 for safer treatment.
A primary injection with stem cells for knee pain is around $1,000, and complicated treatment such as those for ALS can get as high as a couple of thousands of U.S. dollars.
The amenities, additional therapies, and spending on traveling abroad will also add to the final cost. As the results are impressive, many people will consider it’s worth investing.
Can ALS be cured?
From the time being, there is no cure for this disease. Patients get a terrible life prognosis, too, with two to four life expectancy from diagnosis. The stem cell treatment gives hope to people with ALS disease, as it helps the scientist find out more about the causes, and improves the lives of patients as well.
Stem cell procedures will slow down the disease’s progress, but more studies have to run for a better understanding of the treatment.
Where can I get stem cell treatment for ALS?
Currently, there are no FDA-approved treatments with stem cells. However, scientists are running clinical trials to see how safe and efficient the stem cells are for affected people. The clinical trials require volunteers, so patients from the U.S. may enroll.
Not all countries have so many regulations on the use of the innovative method, so patients can still benefit from the revolutionary procedure abroad. Mexic, South Korea, or China are some of the countries where the process has been used.
Has anyone been cured of ALS?
In mainstream practice, there haven’t been any patients cured of ALS disease so far. The procedure is at the beginning although giving encouraging results. However, in private clinics such as The Holistic Sanctuary, we are not held back by the inertia and motives of mainstream research. We have developed a full protocol for ALS, of which stem cells is an integral part, and we are taking in patients.
Has anyone ever survived ALS?
Less than 5% of patients will live longer than 20 years. Steven Wells is the only patient we know who managed to live with the condition for almost 40 years.
ALS is a tricky condition, and there are myriads of aspects that remain unrevealed for the moment. Even in the case of patients who lived a long life, like Hawking, scientists haven’t been able to identify the aspects that contributed to the long lifespan. A combination of genes, clinical care, and environmental factors may have been outstanding.
What’s the conclusion?
Stem cell therapy for ALS is opening a path that has been closed until now, hoping for a better life and longer life span. At Holistic Sanctuary, the patients benefit from customized treatment, intensive care, and a comprehensive plan for better success.