Therapeutic Approach To ALS Essay

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1. Introduction Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) is considered one of the most common and highly fatal motor neuron disease amongst adults. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that effects both upper motor neuron (central neuron cells) function and lower motor neuron (peripheral neuron cells) function and usually results in muscle weakness, muscle atrophy, speech and swallowing dysfunctions, progressive paralysis, and possible death from respiratory failure. Spasticity, altered behavior disturbances, dysexecutive impairment, and frontotemporal dementia may also be present with ALS as well. In general, neurons in specific tracts/areas (corticospinal tracts, cerebellum, medulla, pons, anterior horn cells, motor cortex) of the brain and spinal cord undergo marked degeneration and premature cell death which may be caused by a toxic buildup of glutamate but that is only one of many factors that may be…show more content…
The idea is to use the properties of these growth factors to counteract the symptoms of ALS and reduce the components of catabolism of SOD-1 mutation. IGF-1 has also been linked to promote muscle hypertrophy, nerve survival, and regeneration of motor nerves. Unfortunately, though these experiments have shown positive effects, the human cases have only shown modest or absent effects of neurotrophic factors on ALS. Stem cells has also been linked as a possible therapeutic approach to ALS due to the possibility of supplying trophic factors to preserve and support endogenous cells as they replace damaged cells. Unfortunately the clinical trials for this treatment are still on going with mechanisms of stem cell restoration still
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