Motor neuron disease (MND) is an insidious, fatal disorder that progresses with the selective loss of anterior horn cells of the spinal column. Over 150 years since it was first described, various therapeutic approaches have been tested in the quest of a cure but with little success. Current standard therapy only improves lifespan by a few months; palliative care is the only option available for patients. Stem cell therapy is a potent approach for the treatment of this devastating disease. A multitude of vitalizing effects, both paracrine and somatic, a robust safety profile, as well as ease of availability make a strong case for using these cells for therapeutic purposes. Coupled with rigorous rehabilitation, this powerful treatment modality has been shown to slow disease progression, improve quality of life, and increase survival, along with being well tolerated by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/MND patients. Compelling preclinical as well as clinical evidence abounds that stem cells hold great potential as a therapy for ALS/MND. Although not a definitive solution yet, stem cells have been verified to have slowed and/or halted disease progression in a subset of ALS/MND patients.
Part of the book: Novel Aspects on Motor Neuron Disease