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By Alex Schadenberg

A possible breakthrough treatment for people with ALS is being developed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) by Dr. Neil Cashman with results being published in the journal, Muscle & Nerve.

The pilot study has established a safe pathway for using bone-marrow stem cells to slow down and potentially treat ALS.

The study tested the use of a growth factor stimulant in ALS patients and found that bone-marrow stem cells became activated with no adverse effects to the patients.

Cashman stated that “This pathway, if one day successful, may provide a new therapy that will avoid the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells

The researchers have found that Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) is the safest growth factor to use for ALS patients.

Cashman said that “There have been many misgivings in using stem cell stimulators in ALS patients but now we know we can safely do this. This is an important first step in providing a new treatment for ALS.”

This is one more example of the many therapies that are being derived from ethical adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells continue to have no successful applications and they remain an ethical mine field

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