As of today, there is no proper cure for ALS, and anyone diagnosed with ALS can expect to die within 3-5 years, mainly because of respiratory failure.
Fortunately, for those reading these lines, Stem Cells do indeed offer a promising chance to treat neurodegenerative disorders, including ALS. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have proven to be very beneficial for many patients who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases.
The main reason why mesenchymal stem cells are efficient in helping patients suffering from ALS, is predominantly because of the paracrine effect that is caused by the release of growth factors, free nucleic acids, lipids, cytokines plus extra-cellular vesicles, all of which are secreted biomolecules that bring about tissue repair, modulate the body’s immune system, help as anti-inflammatories and cause antiapoptotic activities.
According to countless studies, Mesenchymal Stem Cells from the Umbilical Cord can differentiate into several neuro-regulatory molecules, which can lead to an increase of several factors such as brain-derived neurotropic factor, glial cell-derived neurotropic factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, insulin-like growth factor and Glucagon-like pepetide-1.
On top of that, neural stem cells transplanted on the spot where the nerve injury is located can promote functional recovery as they produce trophic factors that can cause the regeneration of host neurons. If administered intravenously, mesenchymal stem cells can cross the blood-brain barrier and migrate seamlessly to where the neural injury is found.