A perspective on therapies for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: can disease progression be curbed?

Xiaojiao Xu, Dingding Shen, Yining Gao, Qinming Zhou, You Ni, Huanyu Meng, Hongqin Shi, Weidong Le, Shengdi Chen, Sheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease involving both upper and lower motor neurons, leading to paralysis and eventually death. Symptomatic treatments such as inhibition of salivation, alleviation of muscle cramps, and relief of spasticity and pain still play an important role in enhancing the quality of life. To date, riluzole and edaravone are the only two drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ALS in a few countries. While there is adequate consensus on the modest efficacy of riluzole, there are still open questions concerning the efficacy of edaravone in slowing the disease progression. Therefore, identification of novel therapeutic strategies is urgently needed. Impaired autophagic process plays a critical role in ALS pathogenesis. In this review, we focus on therapies modulating autophagy in the context of ALS. Furthermore, stem cell therapies, gene therapies, and newly-developed biomaterials have great potentials in alleviating neurodegeneration, which might halt the disease progression. In this review, we will summarize the current and prospective therapies for ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number29
JournalTranslational Neurodegeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autophagy
  • Gene editing
  • Motor neurons
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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