What is ALS?
ALS means Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and it is an incurable disease. The average life expectancy from diagnosis is 2 – 5 years.
ALS or the “Lou Gehrig’s Disease“ is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain as well as the spinal cord. It especially refers to the degeneration of the so called motor neurons that reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from there to the muscles. Through ALS these motor neurons die and with that the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement. This leads to a complete paralysation of the patient in the later stage of the disease.
ALS treatment with bone marrow concentrate with stem cells
Our treatment basically concentrates on the reduction of symptoms. It wants to slow down the chronic consequences of ALS for the sake of each patient’s quality of life.
The patients are treated by a so called intrathecal injection or lumbar puncture. This means that the bone marrow concentrate with stem cells are injected into the cerebrospinal fluid which flows within the spinal canal.
The lumbar puncture is an ambulatory treatment which means that the patient is to remain in our clinic for 10-15 nights.
The whole treatment is split up into three steps: bone marrow collection, laboratory processing and last but not least stem cell implantation.
Bone marrow collection
Under local anaesthesia bone marrow is collected from the patient’s hip bone. This so called mini puncture is done with a thin needle. The whole procedure doesn’t take more than half an hour.
Once the bone marrow collection is completed, the patient may leave the clinic and go about normal activities.
The next day the bone marrow concentrate with stem cells are isolated from the bone marrow in our laboratory. There both quantity and quality of the bone marrow concentrate with stem cells are measured. For these cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and thus are capable to regenerate damaged tissue
bone marrow concentrate with stem cells implantation
The next day the bone marrow concentrate with stem cells are re-implanted to the patient by lumbar puncture. The spinal needle is inserted into the spinal vertebra (between L4 and L5) under local anaesthesia and a small amount of spinal fluid is removed. One part of the spinal fluid is mixed with the stem cell solution. This mixed solution in turn is injected back into the patient’s spinal fluid. After the treatment the patient is advised to remain for a few hours in the recovery room.
Patients undergoing a lumbar puncture are required to remain in town at the day of the treatment, for general safety purposes.
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