27 May Stem Cell Therapy Being Tested As A Treatment For Lou Gehrig’s Disease
Lou Gehrig’s disease is devastating for the patient and their family, as it eventually leads to death. It is a disease of the nervous system that causes the degeneration of motor neurons, causing a lack of mobility that finally reaches the brain and spinal cord. Stem cell therapy has the ability to heal damaged and degenerating tissue, shown in recent regenerative medicine practices and studies. Stem cells are being studied as a treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease to stop the death of motor neurons and protect them from further damage. Recent research has shown promising results in Lou Gehrig’s patients who were treated with stem cells.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy has the amazing ability to repair degenerated, damaged, and injured areas of the body. Stem cells restore function to damaged tissue by stimulating the body’s natural healing properties. Recently, various types of stem cells have been studied for their use as a treatment in regenerative medicine. Adipose-derived stem cells are taken from a patient’s fat tissue in a minimally invasive procedure. They have the ability to become other mesenchymal cells like bone cells, muscle cells, more fat cells, and cartilage cells, along with many others. The stem cells taken from fat tissue are easily obtained, as they are all over the body in fat deposits. Adipose-derived stem cells are blank slates that can become whatever you tell them to become, and are structured the same as all other mesenchymal cells. Fat derived stem cells have been said to be superior to bone marrow-derived stem cells because they are so easy to harvest and the procedure is minimally invasive. The amount of fat stem cells in your body also never decreases with age, as bone marrow stem cells can.
What Is Lou Gehrig’s Disease?
Lou Gehrig’s disease is referred to as ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control.
How Can Stem Cells Treat Lou Gehrig’s Disease?
Mesenchymal stem cells, or adult stem cells, are being studied as a treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. These fat-derived stem cells have neurotrophic factors that are known to help support and protect nerve cells. This protection could shield motor nerves from becoming damaged even further, stopping the progression of the disease and preventing the patient’s death. There are several clinical trials already underway to test stem cells as a treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease, and it may become an approved treatment soon.