ALS Awareness Month

Human astrocyte

Human astrocyte. Research indicates that astrocytes may have a toxic role in the degeneration of motor neurons.

ALS Awareness Month

May is ALS Awareness Month, and each year there is a month-long campaign to create awareness and raise money for research for a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

ALS is a motor neuron disease, causing premature death to both upper and lower motor neurons in the motor cortex of the brain, the area responsible for our voluntary muscle control. Eventually, the disease causes widespread weakness and atrophy, with some individuals losing control of all voluntary movement.

In the U.S. alone, there are over 6,000 people per year who are diagnosed with ALS. Currently, the onset of the disease is not understood, and researchers are still looking for a cure.

Potential of Stem Cells in Therapy

At The Mayo Clinic, researchers are looking into Mesenchymal stem cells as a potential avenue in the therapy of ALS, as they are particularly good at supporting neural growth and health. Their phase I trial set out to research the safety in using MSCs in therapy for ALS. Twenty seven patients with ALS received a series of low dose stem cell treatments, and the trial results indicated a safety profile warranting a closer look at the use of MSCs in therapy for ALS.  A phase 2 was recommended, which would have longer periods of treatment, and higher doses.

 

Research will continue as we strive to find a cure for ALS. Until we get there, there are things that each of us can do along the way to help raise awareness about ALS, and to help raise funds to find a cure. For some starting suggestions on how you can help, head over to The ALS Foundation’s website. To learn more about how you can store your own Mesencyhmal stem cells following regular dental procedures like wisdom teeth removal, please call us at 774-843-2984.

ALS Infographic