Acupuncture and TCM for ALS

ALS or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that attacks the motor neurons in the brain and spine and eventually renders voluntary muscle movement severely diminished in those with the disease. Amyotrophic literally translates from Greek to mean “without muscle nourishment”, a reference to the wasting of the muscles that often occurs as the communication between the motor neurons and the muscles is gradually lost. Lateral refers to both sides of the spinal cord as the motor neurons are affected and begin to degenerate. Sclerosis is a reference to the hardening and scarring of the motor neurons. About 10% of ALS cases are identified as having a genetic component, while the other 90% of cases have no known cause as of yet. Patients diagnosed with ALS generally die within 4 years of diagnosis, commonly of respiratory failure as the muscles controlling respiration are affected. As of yet there are no real effective treatments for ALS via conventional medicine, although there has been one drug approved for use: Riluzole, and current research does hold some promise for further treatment options. Meanwhile, from the data that I have seen so far, Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture may have the ability to improve quality of life, including helping to slow muscle wasting and loss of strength for ALS sufferers and to help improve overall longevity as well. Please see my full article here: Chinese Medicine and acupuncture for ALS.


Terry M. Chen, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Santa Cruz Blog

Acupuncture Eugene Oregon

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