Home / Stem Cell Therapy for ALS in India

Stem Cell Therapy for ALS in India

Stem Cell Therapy for ALS in India

When we are handed an ALS diagnosis, our first reaction is despair and a feeling that life is running away from us. We start to think that the end is near and all but give up on the life we are living today.

BUT… at Plexus, we believe that ALS can be stalled, its symptoms can be managed, and life can look up again!

Spearheaded by internationally acclaimed neurologist and stem cell specialist, Dr. Na’eem Sadiq, Plexus brings you the best regenerative rehabilitation for ALS. This is a holistic approach that is a combination of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, stem cell therapy, and other tailored strategies that will give you a renewed sense of hope and elevate your quality of life. 

In this blog, we will explore the various stages of ALS, its accompanying challenges, traditional and new treatments, and the potential of stem cell therapy in ALS management. We’ll help you understand just how effective, safe, and risk-free stem cell therapy for ALS can be.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neuromuscular disease that attacks motor nerve cells in the brain (upper motor neurons) and spinal cord (lower motor neurons). In its initial stages, it causes loss of motor control. However, as the disease advances, it leads to motor impairment.

Stage-wise symptoms of ALS

The earliest symptoms of ALS are:

  • Deterioration of muscle in arms and legs resulting in impairment
  • Uncontrollable periods of crying or laughter
  • Inability to perform simple everyday tasks
  • Loss of motor control (in hands and arms)
  • Dropping things (due to lack of motor control)
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Tripping and falling
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty in speaking (voice-projection troubles)
  • Cognitive and behavioural changes

The 7 stages of ALS

The Early Stage – Stiffness, cramping, muscle weakness, etc. begin to set in

Diagnosis Stage – Loss of motor control become more pronounced, a doctor’s diagnosis is critical at this stage in order to begin treatment

Middle Stage (second region) – Respiratory issues, swallowing troubles, contractures (muscle shortening), etc. begin to emerge as voluntary muscles start to lose complete function (leading to paralysis)

Middle Stage (third region) – Dysphagia and speech irregularities set in, other symptoms like fatigue, chronic headaches, pneumonia, and other ailments begin to appear; respiratory failure is a common concern at this stage

Gastronomy Stage – Severe dysphagia leading to tube feeding 

Last Stage – Complete loss of function of voluntary muscles, blood oxygen levels may drop due to respiratory issues; doctors may put patient on a ventilator

Final Stage – Death caused by pneumonia, pulmonary failure, cardiovascular ailments, etc.

ALS remission

Presenty, there are no 100% recovery programmes for ALS. It is typically considered a disease with limited remission cases. Theoretical physicist and perhaps one the greatest minds of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Stephen Hawking lived with ALS for more than 50 years (after diagnosis). Although not a case remission, Stephen Hawking had a slow-progressing form of the disease. There have been several cases of people outliving their prognosis and continuing to live a life of purpose. However, it must be noted that these individuals have merely managed to live with the symptoms. ALS is a lifelong, progressive, and neurodegenerative disease.

Treatment options

The above stages of ALS and their associated symptoms may sound worrying. You may find yourself anxious about the kind of life you could end up living after an ALS diagnosis. While the disease in itself is not irreversible, its symptoms can be managed, and the rate of progression can definitely be controlled. 

Presently, there are no internationally approved medications for ALS, although riluzole and edaravone have been FDA-approved to help with symptoms management. However, doctors recommend a combination the following:

Symptoms management

Physical Therapy: To maintain mobility, strength, and independence for as long as possible

Occupational Therapy: To adapt to changes in daily living activities and help with assistive devices

Speech Therapy: To speech and swallowing difficulties often experienced by ALS patients 
(Read more about managing dysphagia in ALS here)

Nutrition: To maintain weight; speech therapists and nutritionists may develop modified diets or suggest feeding tubes if necessary

Breathing Support

In the advanced stages of ALS, respiratory muscles weaken and lead to breathing difficulties. Non-invasive positive pressure ventilation (NIPPV) and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) are used to support breathing and prolong survival.

Assistive Devices

Mobility aids, communication devices, and adaptive equipment may be prescribed to improve the patient’s quality of life and foster independence.

Clinical Trials

These trials evaluate potential new treatments and therapies for ALS. Typically, some focus on disease-modifying treatments, while others work towards alleviating symptoms.

Palliative Care and Support

With a focus on improving the patient’s quality of life, palliative care teams provide comprehensive support to ALS patients and their families, addressing physical, emotional, and psychosocial needs. 

Other approaches

Depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of the symptoms experienced, doctors may advise complementary therapies such as Acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutritional supplements.

New advances in ALS care

By focusing on disease modification and simultaneously improving patients’ quality of life, scientists and doctors are working to identify potential advances in ALS treatment, such as:

  • Disease-Modifying Therapies (DMTs)
  • Gene Therapy
  • Stem Cell Therapy
  • RNA Therapeutics
  • Exosomal Therapies
  • Neuroinflammation and Immune Modulation

Plexus Rehabilitation for ALS

Plexus’ regenerative rehabilitation programme is tailored to suit the patient’s symptoms, doctor’s diagnosis, current lifestyle, as well as any aspirations the patient and their caregivers may have. This unique regenerative rehabilitation programme offers a plethora of treatments and therapies to equip the patient with more independence, and to make caregivers more informed about the disease, its progression, and how they can play a meaningful role in the patient’s life.

Our programme includes stem cell therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, activities for daily living training, and so on. 

Today, stem cell therapy is regarded as one of the most effective treatments for ALS.

Stem Cell Therapy at India’s first ISO-Certified Stem Cell Research Centre

Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre uses autologous stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. The procedure is conducted under the guidance of Dr. Sadiq, by a team of highly-skilled and experienced stem cell specialists.

Stem cell therapy for ALS

Stem cell therapy is essentially a type of regenerative treatment that uses the body’s natural healing mechanism to treat a number of conditions. Injected stem cells slow down the rate of neurodegeneration and also have the capacity to self-renew, regenerate cells, and repair damaged tissue. 

Neuroprotection is one of the primary objectives of regenerative treatments like stem cell therapy. Injected stem cells can also provide immunomodulation, secrete growth factors, and also produce supporting cells that can protect damaged motor neurons from further damage and degeneration. Some of these supporting cells include astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.

Some of the benefits of stem cell therapy for ALS include:

  • Enhanced everyday functioning
  • Improved quality of life
  • Immune system modulation and reduction of inflammation
  • Prevention of further nerve damage
  • Speedy recovery post-procedure
  • Non-surgical procedure
  • Zero complications and side-effects

At Plexus, our stem cell procedure involves the following steps:

  1. After reviewing the patient’s medical history, a panel of stem cell consultants will conduct a thorough physical examination of the patient
  2. Therapists will ascertain if the patient is eligible for stem cell therapy
  3. Stem cells are procured from the patient’s bone marrow; this procedure is performed under local anesthesia
  4. Collected stem cells are prepared sent to the laboratory for quality checks and isolated for further therapy
  5. In the laboratory, isolated stem cells divide and form daughter cells which can either self-renew or turn into specialised cells like brain cells, bone cells,  or heart muscle cells
  6. Patients are discharged
  7. Depending on the stage of the disease, level of symptoms, and any other needs of the patient, the specialists will set a date for the stem cells to be injected into the patient’s body, targeting specific areas
  8. Further course of treatment is determined

Stem cell therapy is safe and risk-free because the autologous stem cells are drawn from the patient’s blood, bone marrow, or adipose tissue. They are progenitor cells that have the potential to multiply and transform into specialised cells, taking on the functions of the damaged cells by replacing them. 

Other therapies in the rehabilitation program

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) empowers the patient to perform daily activities with much more ease by helping them manage their symptoms. OT helps restore strength, improve endurance and hand function, and manage fatigue. Our team of highly skilled occupational therapists will help you regain independence and even improve your everyday functionality. 


Physiotherapy is one of the most recommended therapies for patients with ALS. It is known to improve posture and prevent joint immobility. It can also delay the inevitable atrophy caused by lack of motor function. Our physiotherapists will devise an exercise plan that is in keeping with the patient’s requirements, lifestyle, and aspirations.

Speech and language therapy

One of the most troubling, common, and advancing symptoms of ALS is dysphagia. A speech therapist can help maintain communication skills, and also improve swallowing skills. Speech therapy also helps patients regain the ability to produce sounds and speech. 

Muscle relaxants and medication

Muscle relaxants are prescribed by doctors to relieve muscle stiffness. They can also help reduce drooling that occurs due to dysphagia.

Plexus’ rehabilitation for ALS also offers: 

  • Diets and nutrition plans
  • Endurance training and fitness management
  • Functional stretching for relief from muscle stiffness
  • Hand function training
  • Functional splinting
  • Strengthening of muscles in the shoulder, neck, upper and lower limbs, and oral structures
  • Activities for daily living training
  • Energy conservation and work simplification training
  • Counseling and caregiver support 


1. Are there any promising treatments for ALS?

A combination of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy have enabled patients to recognise and manage their symptoms well. As a regenerative treatment, stem cell therapy has shown significant improvement in patients with ALS.

2. Can ALS stop progressing?

ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disorder. Its rate of progression can be controlled, however the disease in itself is irreversible.

3. Can ALS go into remission?

Presently, only less than 1% of ALS cases have gone into remission. However, stem cell therapy has brought in a sense of hope in doctors and patients. The treatment has helped numerous patients manage their symptoms for several years after the diagnosis.

4. Where is the best place for treatment of ALS?

Plexus is India’s first ISO-Certified stem cell research centre founded by Dr. Na’eem Sadiq. As India’s foremost neurologist and stem cell specialist, Dr. Sadiq and his team of specialists offer the best treatment plan for ALS under Plexus’ regenerative rehabilitation programs. These consist of stem cell therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and so on.

5. Is there a cure for ALS in 2023?

There’s no cure for ALS. But, its symptoms can be managed to a degree that the disease does not interfere with the patient’s quality of life. And this is an exceptional feat when it comes to treating motor neuron diseases like ALS.

6. Can you build muscle with ALS?

There isn’t enough evidence to support the idea of building muscle through strength training. 

7. Can ALS damage be reversed?

Unfortunately, no. ALS is a progressive disease. But with timely diagnosis and prompt treatment, its symptoms can be managed, and the disease’s rate of progression can be controlled.

8. Does stretching help with ALS?

Yes, stretching exercises can improve muscle flexibility and delay atrophy. It should be performed under the guidance of a physiotherapist who is trained in the management of neuro muscular disorders.

9. What foods help fight ALS?

Balanced and nutritional meals are important to manage the symptoms of ALS.

Nutritionists recommend eating servings of high protein based foods, rich in antioxidants and carotenes, as well as high fiber grains.

WhatsApp chat
Check your eligibility for treatment here
Translate »