Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and motor neuron disease (MND), is a progressive neuromuscular disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. As these neurons slowly waste away, they become unable to transmit signals through the body, such that over time the body loses the ability to do basic functions such as eating, speaking, walking, and even breathing. There is currently no cure for ALS; the disease usually causes death within 3-5 years.
Around the world, stem cell scientists are looking for ways to stop ALS once it begins—and, hopefully, to restore nerve function once lost. The research is still in its early stages, but there have been promising findings recently in the field of stem cell research. Recent news in the field includes a Phase 1 clinical trial in the United States, which is the first FDA-approved trial of stem cells for ALS.
The Stem Cell Network has just published another in a series of disease summaries, this latest issue focuses on ALS: its symptoms, current treatment, ongoing research, and whether or not stem cell therapy may hold the key to helping cure this devastating illness.
Latest posts by Stem Cell Network (see all)
- Welcome to our new niche! - May 16, 2012
- 2012 Cells I See winners - May 11, 2012
- A crack in the origin of eggs: policy and fertility implications of oogonial stem cells - March 5, 2012