United States researchers have explained the recent improvements in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is capable of slowing the onset of paralysis. It is observed that people with the disease die a slow death when the muscles in charge of breathing actually stop working. Despite all the claims, cure for ALS still seems as distant as the reasons that cause the disease.
During the study, human fetal stem cells were used as graft on the spines of rats, which caused a delay in the onset of paralysis. Additionally the new cells were found to be resistant to the disease, also called Lou Gehrig's disease
To take this research forward, a company has linked up with these researchers to incubate groups of human cells, removed from aborted human fetuses, which can now form the basis of effective treatments for many types of paralyzing conditions.
"We were extremely surprised to see that the grafted stem cells were not negatively affected by the degenerating cells around them, as many feared introducing healthy cells into a diseased environment would only kill them," Dr Vassilis Koliatsos of Johns Hopkins University and the lead author of the study said.
The findings are published in the journal Transplantation.