There is no cure or effective treatment for ALS, however scientists are working hard to develop therapies for
ALS is a complex multi-system disease. A growing number of ALS clinics are deploying multidisciplinary
teams to care for people with ALS to meet their physical, emotional, and nutritional needs. These teams
include physical, respiratory, speech and occupational therapists to help people with ALS breathe easier,
keep moving, and stay connected. Palliative care specialists support people with ALS and their caregivers.
Today, there are dozens of clinical trials evaluating potential treatments enrolling people with ALS and
their families. Check out our clinical trials page.
Researchers are developing a number of treatment strategies to fight ALS. GSK's
ozanezumab hopes to keep ALS in check by protecting the
neuromuscular junctions from crumbling.
Immune system-modulating drugs including Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals'
NP001 hope to slow ALS in its
tracks by reducing neuroinflammation.
Stem cell-based strategies including
Neuralstem's NSI-566 and Brainstorm's
hope to shield
motor neurons from destruction. And, potential muscle boosters
hope to help
people breathe easier and keep muscles moving.
The DPS might improve the QoL of people
with ALS and extend survival.
Scientists are also repurposing medicines in hopes of bringing ALS therapies more quickly to the clinic. The
FDA-approved heart medicine
mexiletine might slow ALS by
reducing hyperexcitability, a potentially early step in the disease. The multiple sclerosis medicine,
Novartis' Gilenya, aims to
treat ALS by reducing neuroinflammation.
There are also a growing number of medicines that might help alleviate key symptoms of the disease. Baclofen may reduce
muscle spasms. Nuedexta might
help keep emotions in check (pseudobulbar affect).
might reduce painful muscle cramps. A number of medicines
including Robinul, Elavil, and Botox, may help reduce salivation.
Care and management
Breathing devices may also improve quality of life and extend survival.
Non-invasive ventilators such as a BiPAP machine
help people with ALS breathe better, sleep better and boost survival by about a year according to some estimates.
Phrenic pacers (NeuRX DPS) might also help people
sleep better and extend survival
according to clinical observations
about 16 months after NIV use is initiated.
Clinical trials are
ongoing to further evaluate
the NeuRX DPS and identify which people with ALS might benefit from them.
Certain forms of exercise are also becoming routine. Range of motion (stretching) is general practice for people with
ALS to prevent muscle pain and the formation of contractures.
Emerging aerobic workouts
might improve quality of life and help reduce functional decline. A clinical trial
evaluating the benefits of certain forms of exercises including stationary cycling and weight training remains ongoing.
There is no cure or effective treatment for ALS. This urgent unmet medical need for effective ALS therapies is
the basis for the research and drug development effort at the nonprofit biotech organization,
ALS Therapy Development Institute.