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Motor Neuron Disorder (MND) is a fatal neuromuscular disease in which most patients do not survive after 2 to 5 years of diagnosis. Some common types of degenerative diseases are progressive muscular atrophy (PMA), progressive bulbar palsy (PBP), and primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). The motor neuron degenerate disease spreads from upper and lower motor neuronal damage, leading to a degeneration of motor pathways, thus causing paralytic effects in patients. Two drugs, riluzole, and edaravone are currently approved by FDA for the treatment of MND and recent developments in underlying pathophysiologic processes have led to the development of numerous therapeutic investigations. Here, we discuss the therapies that are currently suggested by medical professionals and the experimental alternative stem cell therapy for MND.


In 1995, FDA approved the glutamate antagonist riluzole as the first treatment for MND. Riluzole exerts an inhibitory action on the release of glutamate to inactivate sodium channels. In some patient studies, riluzole demonstrated a significantly higher 12-month survival and lower muscle strength deterioration for MND patients. Adverse effects of the drug included asthenia, spasticity, and mild aminotransferase level increase in the patient’s body.


Another FDA-approved MND drug, Edaravone, is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been reported to reduce excess oxidative stress and cell death. The phase 3 trials for this drug showed that there is no indication of its effectiveness in a wider population of MND patients. A second trial of the drug showed functional improvement in MND patients. Although patients had mixed reactions to the drug, edaravone acts by supposedly preserving function and delaying motor deterioration, specifically during early intervention. The most frequent adverse effects were injection-site contusion, gait disturbance, and headache.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)-neurotrophic factor (NTF) cells

An investigational therapeutic venture is stem cell therapy for MND. Autologous bone marrow and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells have been currently in the experimental phase in MND clinical trials. Some researchers are also utilizing mesenchymal stem cells that are induced to secrete high levels of neurotrophic factors to improve neuroprotective function. Studies have shown that autologous MSCs is a safe treatment option for motor neuron disorder with significant improvements in MNDFRS-R and biomarker levels depicting anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective characteristics. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment for MND have shown therapeutic benefit and even though they are in the experimental phase, have shown great benefits in pilot studies.

If you are looking for MND therapies and started understanding the role of alternative therapies like stem cell therapy, it is also important to realize that the treatment for MND is better boosted with regenerative rehabilitation therapies like physiotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. To know more regarding motor neuron disorder and its latest therapeutic practices, contact us at info@advancells.com for a free consultation.