Are there promising breakthroughs regarding ALS?

Researchers are hard at work, searching for new ways to prevent and combat ALS.

Here are some areas they are currently exploring:

  • Research aimed at finding genes that cause the disease, as well as learning more about what causes motor neurons to die.
  • Testing of various substances in ALS patients, including antioxidants, the enzyme SOD1 and neurotrophic factors. Drugs that one day might be used to treat ALS include the antioxidant coenzyme Q10, the breast cancer drug tamoxifen and the antibiotic minocycline (Minocin).
  • Stem cells also are an active area in ALS research. Scientists in 2008 were able to reprogram stem cells so they were able to form healthy motor neurons. Scientists are hoping that one day stem cells may be able to replace damaged motor neurons in ALS patients.

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