As the causes of these diseases are still a subject of study, there’s a lack of proper care and his treatment does not follow rigid and standardized protocols but is modulated case by case.
The treatments used can be divided into two categories: those that have the purpose of modifying the course and the evolution of the disease and the ones aimed at reducing or eliminating symptoms and signs occurring during recurrences and phases the disease takes a sharp turn. In recent years, research has made great strides in clarifying the way as the disease works, thus allowing early diagnosis and treatment to reach people with SM to maintain a good quality of life for many years. SM is complex and unpredictable but does not reduce life expectancy; in fact the average life of the sick is comparable to the one of the general population.
At the moment, there is no therapy able to heal SLA: the only approved drug is Riluzolo, whose intake may slow the progression of the disease. There are also other medications that reduce symptoms and aids to improve personal autonomy, movement and communication.
In recent years, the research has multiplied and the hope of finding a definitive remedy is becoming more concrete soon. Inevitably SLA entails lifestyle changes of all the family members, but through proper and proper care, the use of some aids and a complete and comprehensive information, it is possible for everyone to maintain a life quality worthy of the name.
In 2017, Aifa positively responded to the formal request made by Aisla (the Italian Amyotrophic Side Sclerosis Association) for the introduction of Radicut in Italy, a new drug against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
In this way, our country became the first in Europe to have a new drug about SLA on the market after more than twenty years. Radicut, which appears to be able to moderately slow the motor degeneration caused by the disease, was originally developed in Japan for the treatment of stroke and has being studied many years. The first results were not encouraging: they did not actually report any significant difference between patients treated with edaravone and the ones treated with placebo.
In other cases, important side effects even have occurred. Analyzing the data, however, the researchers saw that a certain population considered showed an interesting response to the drug and it is on this specific type of patients that the subsequent trials were concentrated.
The recent study in the United States on 137 patients with Sla and published on Lancet Neurology in May 2017, confirmed it.
Radicut induces a slight slowdown in worsening functional status, in patients with specific features such as: the appearance of the disease for no more than two years, moderate disability and, finally, good respiratory function. For this reason the drug can be prescribed by the reference neurologist exclusively to people with this specific clinical picture. In Italy, on a population of about 6,000 people affected by Sla, it is estimated that the initially suitable patients are about 1,600.