Mayo Clinic researching ALS stem cell treatment

by KING 5 HealthLink

Posted on August 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Time with grandchildren is especially precious for Linda Leight. Just like Lou Gherig, she has ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis It will eventually paralyze nearly all muscles in the body. With Linda, it started with her voice.

The disease has slowed her speech. Eventually she won't be able to breathe. There is no cure.

So with husband Jerry by her side, she enrolled in a study using stem cells from a patient's own fat and injecting them into the spine.

"We're hopeful that the stem cells will provide a protection for the neurons that remain in the spinal cord and the brain and hopefully slow down the disease and prolong lifespan," said Dr. Nathan Staff.

Just like Lou Gehrig, Linda has her own baseball card to raise awareness. Even if the research doesn't help her, she's hopeful for her grandchildrens' generation.

Another study is using stem cells from a patient's bone marrow. Scientists remain cautious as all of this research is still in the early stages.

Although ALS can run in families, the vast majority of cases don't have a genetic link. One group at higer risk: military veterans who served during the Gulf War. They are almost twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population.

See more here:
Mayo Clinic researching ALS stem cell treatment

Related Post