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One of the many incurable and ultimately fatal diseases plaguing society today is ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Though the cause for ALS is unknown, in the United States alone 5,600 people are diagnosed each year, and 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects brain and spinal cord function. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that effectively destroys the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. These neurons are extremely important, as they aid in mobility by relaying muscle contractions from the brain to the muscles. After time, the excessive wear and tear of the disease leads to the death of the patient, usually when the neurons leading to the muscles of the diaphragm and lungs are affected and the patient can no longer breathe. Because these neurons cannot be reproduced by the body, there is a great possibility that the application of stem cells could heal damaged neurons or even prevent future damage pertaining to ALS.
Heal the World
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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Heal the World
Great Problems Seminar
Alvarez, Alex; Brassard, Jeremy; Brown, Maria; and Valerio, Dan, "Utilizing Stem Cells for an ALS Treatment" (2008). Great Problems Seminar Posters (All Posters, All Years). 40.