North by Northeast

In October 2013, clinicians gathered at the 12th annual meeting of the Northeast ALS (NEALS) Consortium to discuss the latest potential treatment strategies and implementation challenges.

  • Neuralstem (Stem cells) – In phase II of the clinical trial, neural stem cells are surgically introduced into the cervical, diaphragm-moving, region of the spinal cord in hopes to protect the motor neurons needed for breathing.
  • NeuRX DPS (Device) – Phase II of the clinical trial aims to determine if diaphragm function is improved and to identify key respiratory signs or parameters that might help clinicians identify people who are most likely to benefit from the procedure.
  • Gilenya (Oral) – The phase IIA clinical trial aims to keep inflammation in check by reducing the infiltration of effector T cells and by increasing the circulation of regulatory T cells.  (This immunomodulator is currently used to treat multiple sclerosis).
  • Actemra (IV infusion) – Just announced at the meeting, the clinical trial will aim to reduce production of pro-inflammatory substances that might further damage the motor nerves.  (Another immunomodulator, but this one is currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis).
  • CellCept, Methylprednisolone, Prograf, Prednisone, and Simulect (Oral & IV infusion) – These immunosuppressants are part of a multi-drug clinical trial that aims to identify why ‘Patient 11,’ from Neuralstem’s ongoing stem cell trial, experienced rapid improvement due to the anti-rejection medicines.
  • Exercise – The clinical trial is evaluating key forms of moderate aerobic and resistance exercise – stationary cycling and weightlifting – and comparing them to range of motion exercises.  The study aims to determine which forms of exercise are the most helpful.
  • Arimoclomol (Oral) – The clinical trial aims to slow progression by reducing levels of misfolded superoxide dismutase I (SOD1).

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