Stem cell therapy is often mentioned in the context of ALS disease. There were many ALS patients who underwent the therapy but it never cured anyone. The idea of stem cell therapy is more in slowing down the disease progress – on individual basis it is very hard to measure any effects because nobody knows how long would the patient live otherwise. There is a big discussion and ethics related questions around stem cells use and this is also the reason why it is not approved in many countries. ALS patients had to travel to countries where this experimental treatment is possible. Since this is not covered by insurance companies from obvious reasons it usually is quite expensive matter which many cannot afford. Those who invested in it still did not experience the desired outcome. However there is one remarkable story to tell – the story of Ted Harada. This man was diagnosed with ALS in 38-years and he volunteered for experimental stem cell therapy. To surprise of everyone the therapy helped him and he officially regained some strength back – he participated in charity 2.5 mile walk as per the available information. The promising early success fell apart when Ted Harada died on brain cancer. Please read about it in this Tribute to Ted Harada article. This story is 5 years old and as we can see, not much positive happened on stem cell front for ALS patients.
I commented the Ted Harada case earlier when I first observed that in a very lucky way. It actually made me to rethink the potential of this treatment. I was sure this therapy has nothing to do with root cause of ALS (and criticized that) but it could have its possible value in the recovery phase which is the phase following stopping the progression (finding root cause or even eliminating it without exactly knowing how using heuristic experimental methods). I understand stem cell therapy as an attempt to rebuild damaged and destroyed “tissue”.
If you read some basic articles on it you will realize that the stem cell potential is mainly to stop degradation of the support cells in nervous system which nourish and support neurons – these are those in ALS known astrocytes and glial cells. These cells obviously play important role and in my posts you can notice I mention them also in the context of possible infection which can target these cells (directly as well as indirectly). But if the damage is ongoing and persists it is unfortunate competition and the rate of damage is most likely higher than rate of reconstruction humans would be capable to achieve with these stem cell treatments. I compared this effort to repairing house roof during hurricane. This is why stem cell therapy is in my opinion not a good primary treatment. It probably was not planned to be but this also illustrates the situation in ALS – humans approach the problem from the opposite end, they focus on symptoms, they focus on slowing down (tactical option) and they invest very little into strategic root cause leading projects. As a big criticizer of genetic research I should end with my hypothesis. Extremely expensive genetic research also falls into symptomatic projects – it is not root cause leading and thus people will continue to fail. If 100 millions of people stand out and start calling for paradigm change that would be something else!
Please note this answer is part of FAQ page containing 45+ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) related questions. It can be also viewed as single post which may look little bit odd. For example search engine like Google or Bing can direct you at such view. If you are missing a context check the parent page and perhaps also other questions.
Do you know ALS Experimental Theory? Are you aware of ALS 1KD Challenge? Have you read results of my ALS investigation with really controversial conclusion?
Also the latest lengthy articles on ALS provided information which is not part of the general knowledge due to its inherent controversy, please consider still getting familiar with it and explore those topics on your own:
- ALS Community - Buried Alive
- Brutal and Ruthless Truth About ALS
- Nelda Buss - Deciphering the Miracle
Fight against ALS disease needs to be lead by employing below generic tactics (details are part of this website too):
- Stabilization of PH across all body fluids
- Excretion of heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium) and toxic metals (aluminium) from body via natural chelatation and detoxification procedures
- Supporting immune system using all known means (supplementation, natural immune boosters)
- Supporting ALS ill organism with radical diet ("Kernel mode diet") with rich antioxidant and quality nutrition components
- Putting special focus on resting, breathing exercises, regulated sun exposure, keeping healthy and positive morale
- Support from other people who need to be also positive and believe in real improvements, words like fatality, incurability are forbidden and forgotten words
- Avoiding all strenuous activities and focusing on regulating all types of stress as much as possible (physical stress, psychic stress)