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Lou Gherig's Disease Essay

877 words - 4 pages

Karina Estudillo
ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects millions of people around the world. Throughout the years, researchers and scientists have been developing new methods to treat the fatal disease. They have figured out new ways to slow the progression of Lou Gehrig’s with the use of transplants and other surgical procedures. This new discovery has created hope for people suffering with Lou Gehrig’s. The use of stem cell transplants is a great step forward in treating Lou Gehrig patients.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS for short, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes the deterioration of specific nerve cells (Miriam Falco). In other words, ALS ...view middle of the document...

S. are diagnosed with ALS each year (“ALS Association”). Compared to other diseases, ALS is not as common and many people are not affected by it. Even though it’s not common worldwide, it is common compared to other neurodegenerative disease of its kind. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time (“ALS Association”). This shows that not many people are diagnosed with ALS. Unlike cancer or diabetes, ALS is uncommon worldwide.
Anyone can become diagnosed with ALS. People of all races and ethnic backgrounds are affected (“National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke”). Researchers still haven’t found any risk factors that are common in ALS. Ethnicity and race doesn’t cause ALS, so anyone can be affected by it. Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis (“ALS Association”). ALS is common amongst men and women who are growing older. Yet, it can still be diagnosed in people who are in their early twenties and thirties.
In the first stem cell transplant in the U.S., stem cells are being transplanted into a person with advanced ALS. Doctors injected stem cells from an 8-week old fetal tissue into the spine of a man in his early 60s (Miriam Falco). This is the first clinical trial being done with ALS patients. Researchers are hoping that the injection of the cells in the spinal cord is safe. This first patient in the clinical trial received several injections of stem cells into the lumbar region of the spinal cord, the area that controls the leg function, because...

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