What is ALS?

Person sitting in a wheelchair, in a field, watching sunset

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the human motor system that progressively affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing loss of muscle control. "Lateral" identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening ("sclerosis") in the region.

ALS symptoms

The main symptoms appear gradually as the condition progress, eventually this develop into more notorious signals. Early symptoms can be: 

Pictures depecting ALS Symptoms

  • Muscle twitches in the arm, leg, shoulder, or tongue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tight and stiff muscles (spasticity)
  • Muscle weakness affecting an arm, a leg, the neck, or diaphragm
  • Slurred and nasal speech
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Most of the time the first symptoms start in one hand or arm and simple task start to being complicated to do, like buttoning a shirt, writing or locking a door.  Also some ALS patients may show extrapyramidal features such as tremor, rigidity, propulsion, and impaired postural reflexes. R and 3%–5% of ALS patients are diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a dementia of non-Alzheimer’s type with symptoms of behavioral changes, frontal executive deficit, and impaired handling of language. R

In more advanced stages symptoms can spread to another part of body, even swallowing (dysphagia) or talking (dysarthria) can be difficult for some patients. Patients in some point may lose the capacity to breath and there are connected to a ventilator. 

ALS Causes

There’s not a specific cause of this disease, instead physicians called risk factors that make more probably to develop ALS. There are some specific factors that are very important to mention: older age, being male and a history of ALS in your family. However, there are another environmental risk factors like being exposed to some virus, toxic agents or physical traumas. 

Text indicating ALS Risk factors

ALS Statistics

Each year 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS in the United States and the median age of patients is 55 years. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 450,000 people with this disease. It has been found that “About 10%–15% of ALS patients have a familial form of the disease, with at least two first-degree or second-degree relatives with ALS." -Caroline Ingre, P. M. (2015)

The life expectancy of the patients is between 2 to 5 years, this represents 50% of the cases. While 10% usually live more than a decade with proper treatment. In data from the ALS Association, every 90 minutes a person with this disease dies. According to a research article published in nature.com (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms12408), the number of ALS cases across the globe will increase from 222,801 in 2015 to 376,674 in 2040, representing an increase of 69%.

ALS treatment

There is no known treatment to cure ALS. What current treatments do is focus on improving the quality of life of patients by reducing or controlling symptoms. These are complementary treatments, which are sometimes combined to give a better result. 

  • Physical and occupational therapy: Include gentle, low-impact aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, and stationary bicycling
  • Communications support: People with ALS who have difficulty speaking may benefit from working with a speech therapist
  • Nutritional support: Nutritionists can teach individuals and caregivers how to plan and prepare meals that provide enough nutrients because of the difficult to swallow.
  • Breathing support: Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) refers to breathing support that is usually delivered through a mask over the nose and/or mouth

ALS Stem Cell treatment

Stem cell therapy not only focuses on treating the symptoms but on actually slowing down the disease’s progression, stopping its advance and reversing the damage done to tissue and organs. Regenerative medicine works in 3 stages:

1- Slow Down

2- Stop

3- Regenerate

ALS Stem Cell treatment cost

Stem cell therapy cost for ALS, on in GIOSTAR Mexico, starts at $8,500.00 USD for one application (half-treatment). Pricing highly depends on the personalized protocol that the Medical Director determines based on each patient's condition. What may this include?

  • (Transportation from hotel-clinic, clinic-hotel and airport-hotel as well as hotel-airport (mainly for our Clinics in Playa del Carmen and Guadalajara; our Clinic in Los Algodones, due to its proximity to the US-Mexico border crossing, we pick up patients on the border and take them to our clinic or their hotel)
  • Lodging (included in our Clinic in Algodones; lodging in Guadalajara and Playa del Carmen are paid by the patient)
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Body preparation – Nutritional IV Therapy
  • 1 - 10 billion exosomes (volume depends on Doctor's personal evaluation of each patient)
  • 1 - 4 stem cell vials (35 - 140 million stem cells)
  • Laboratory protocol by Dr. Anand Srivastava (activation of the stem cells in order to direct them towards the affected tissue or organ)
  • Medical Consultation
  • Dietitian Follow up post-therapy
  • Preferential prices for future reinforcements/applications
  • Laboratory exams the previous day before first application

Giostar Mexico Stem Cell Therapy

Being part of the last three decades of innovative discoveries in the research-based area of regenerative medicine, Stem Cell Therapy promotes the reduction and stoppage of degenerative diseases or conditions, such as ALS, physical injuries and aging, bolstering the regeneration of damaged tissues, bodily processes and overall well-being.

Giostar Mexico specializes in medical tourism, receiving patients from all over the world. With the acquired understanding based on scientific research, we are able to provide personalized protocols to each patient. Through specialized allogenic mesenchymal adult stem cells, our regenerative therapy concentrates stem cells in the targeted area, organ or immune system, helping the body stop the progression of a disease or condition and begin regeneration.

References

  • ALS Association. (2021, April 2021). ALS Association. Retrieved from What is ALS?: https://www.als.org/understanding-als/what-is-als
  • Caroline Ingre, P. M. (2015). Risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Clinical Epidemiology, 181-193.
  • Karissa C. Arthur, A. C. (2016). Projected increase in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis from 2015 to 2040. Nature communications.
  • Lewis P. Rowland, N. A. (2001). Amyotrophyc Lateral Sclerosis. The New England Journal of Medicine .
  • Matthew C Kiernan, S. V. (2011). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Lancet.
  • National Institute og Neurological Disorders and Stroke . (2021, May 26). NIH. Retrieved from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als-fact-sheet

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