MOTOR NEURON DISEASE EXPLAINED

Transmission of signals across the spinal cord towards the muscle nerve cells to carry out movements is generated through motor neuron cells. Improper functioning can hamper health condition as it runs all the controlled movements such as respiration, swallowing, talking, hand gestures and walking.There is a cluster of neurological disorders that increasingly tear down the nerve cells and that leads to motor neuron disease.A resultant weakness in the muscle can occur due to the damage caused by motor neuron disease on neuron cells.The most commonly witnessed motor neuron disease is better known by the term amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Some of the additional motor neuron diseases comprises of post-polio syndrome, primary lateral sclerosis (PLS), progressive bulbar palsy and progressive muscular atrophy.

Symptoms

When the disease starts developing, the symptoms of motor neuron disease will start to differ. This symptomatic progression is marked by an outline that is divided into three categories namely:

  • The initial stage- During this stage, the symptoms starts developing in a slow faint manner.
  • The advanced stage- During this stage, several parts and bodily function starts see the effect. Also, there is a rapid occurrence of muscle spasms, muscle weakness pain, respiratory problems, difficulty in speaking and swallowing, difficulty walking and maintaining balance and other connected problems
  • The end stage– During this stage, one experiences body paralysis, severely affecting daily activities and shortness of breath.

It is important to note that a person suffering from motor neuron disease may show different symptoms that are not associated with the disease itself. It may be caused due to other problems like stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Conventional treatment options

At present, there is no indication of any cure or treatment options for motor neuron disease.The running of advanced neurological disorders can be well managed by only a disciplinary and experienced team as motor neuron disease symptoms are complex and varied. For deeper introspection, you will need a physiotherapist to guide on the mobility, postural support and contractures issues. For any problems related to difficulty in swallowing, you can consult a speech and language therapist. They will also provide you with communication aids. An occupational therapist will supply some aids to sustain the functionality like providing wheelchair, mobile arm support and so on. Last but not the least; your diet regime gets corrected in accordance with your treatment options through the help of a dietitian.

There are certain medications that help to lessen the rise of these symptoms. It includes medications like muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other available drugs. At present, a normal drug called rilutor is used widely.Additionally, the patients are provided with assistive devices like supports or braces, orthotics, speech synthesizers, and wheelchairs to help them in letting go of their dependency. In an advanced stage, usage of an artificial ventilator support may become necessary.

Causes of Motor Neuron Disease

The picture remains unclear on why motor neurons lose out on their functionality. Most motor neuron diseases are hereditary. In fact many researchers hold the belief that the rise of motor neuron diseases is a part of gene transmutation and have an effect on the normal functioning of cells. These transmittable forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis occur due to the transformation that takes place in the SOD1 gene, which keeps away the cells of the body from oxidative injury.

At present, some studies are made on levels of motor neuron diseases progression like ALS. Some of these factors are mentioned below:

  • When there is an odd rise in the chemical levels like glutamate which normally transmits the communication through the nerves
  • When the immune system comes under some disturbance due to the malfunction of the immune system, it might cause a nerve disorder. This in turn will generate muscle weakness.
  • Uncertain environmental conditions like infections, toxic substances and dietary insufficiency may give rise.

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STEM CELL THERAPY FOR MOTOR NEURON DISEASE

When there is an increased axonal deterioration of motor neurons taking place in the spinal cord and motor cortex, then it leads to a formation of motor neuron disease. The motor neurons get hampered through this disease progression leaving aside the sensory system.Cells such as glial cells and stem cells showcase a dimensional role in renewing the lost motor neurons.Renewing of neurons can be obtained through a latent supply of bone marrow cells. It includes both hematopoietic as well as mesenchymal progenitor cells and it can transfer itself to the spinal cord and infuse effectively in the motor neuron disease region.

The NeuroGen Outcome


In a sub population of 100,000 people, 1-5 people are stricken with motor neuron disease. It does not hamper the life of the sufferer alone but it also affects the lives of their loved ones.

With the discovery of stem cell therapy, the hope of people is renewed. After the stem cell therapy, many of our patients have shown positive results like clearer and louder speech and better tongue movement. Other signs of improvements like lesser choking, improvement during swallowing and lesser drooling of saliva have been observed. Quite a number of patients experienced improved neck control, better limb functioning, fine motor activities, improved sitting and standing balance. Patients become more independent with the newer improvements.

The stem cells can partake the below pointers during the treatment session of motor neuron disease:

  • The stem cells are relocated after it separates into a different entity of neural cells that facilitates in repairing tissues
  • An alternative to cells results in the generation of stem cells
    It boost up the total number of cells
  • It gives an improved living habitat for the continued existence of motor neurons
  • Motor neuron cells are better augmented for protection and it also transmits some molecules that act as carriers

The smartest running policy for motor neuron disease is an outcome of cellular transplantation. Few studies have proved to be beneficiary in the running of motor functioning through the pre-clinical studies related to animals. Safety measures and transplantation options are further researched for better optimization, but the use of autologous stem cells have been proven to be safe while allogenic cell transplantation safety measures are still been studied. There is a wide intensive study going on regarding the several forms of cells, routes of administration and its different protocols. Quite a number of transplantation like intracerebral, intra-spinal and intrathecal takes place related to mononuclear cells and resulting from peripheral blood. It is indicative of positive signs of survival, respiratory function, muscle strength and bulbar impairment.

It has constantly been proved that cellular therapy is a safe treatment for motor neuron disease and have used extensively.

NeuroGen Results

We evaluated the period of survival of the motor neuron disease patients treated with intrathecal autologous stem cell transplantation. We made a research through Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. It revealed that the chance of the survival period of the patients treated with intrathecal autologous stem cell transplantation was better compared with those patients who did not undergo stem cell therapy.

The development of motor neuron disease is slowed down and stopped through stem cell therapy together with the standard drug treatment and rehabilitation sessions. When treated in time, it remains safe and effective.

Your most common questions answered

What is motor neuron disease exactly?

Motor neuron diseases are a set of serious neurological disorders that increasingly damages the nerve cells. When the motor neuron cells are damaged by a motor neuron disease, the muscles cannot obtain the brain’s messages and results in muscle weakness

What are the different treatments needed for motor neuron diseases?

Currently there is no cure or standard treatment for motor neuron diseases. Medications such as muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and other available drugs help by reducing the occurrence of the symptoms. The standard drug that is currently is being used for motor neuron disease is rilutor.

What necessary care should be taken for a person suffering from Motor Neuron Disease?

People with motor neuron disease and their caretakers have complex needs which can adequately be delivered by a multidisciplinary team experienced in the management of progressive neurological disability.

Are there medications available to treat Mental Retardation?

Yes there are medications that reduce the symptoms from occurring. Medications such as muscle relaxants, anticonvulsants, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and other available drugs help by reducing the occurrence of the symptoms.

Are there different types or levels of MNDs?

Yes, the symptoms include the initial stages, the advanced stage and the end stage. Each stage has different stages of symptoms.

How does stem cell therapy work?

The biological task of stem cells is to repair and regenerate damaged cells. Stem cell therapy exploits this function by administering these cells in high concentrations directly in and around the damaged tissue, where they advance its self healing and repair.

Are there ethical concerns surrounding adult stem cell research and therapy?

There are no ethical concerns as such that surrounds the adult stem cell research and therapy. Ethical concerns are mainly based on the use of embryonic stem cells which we do not use.

Does the treatment have any side effects?

The whole therapy session is safe and till date none of our patients have shown any signs of neurological deterioration. In rare cases, side effects like headache for 3-4 days, neck or back pain, vomiting, mild rash or pain at the area of bone marrow aspirations may arise. Some unexpected medical complication can occur but that is just a possibility.

How long will it take me to know that I have benefitted from the treatment?

This may vary from patient to patient. Some patients makes a speedy improvement by 3-6 months while in some cases patients take several months or years together to heal. And there are some patients that recover even before their discharge

Can other treatments be taken at the same time?

We will have to review the entire dose of medication before coming upon a decision. Generally we do allow the patients to continue their other medication. But it is better to consult a doctor beforehand.

How much improvement will the patient have?

Since this is a new therapy and not an existing one, it is difficult to say. It will depend on several factors like the age of patient, type of illness, duration of illness and extent of rehabilitation taken after the treatment.