ALS, a disease that weakens muscles and affects how the body moves, doesn’t have a cure yet. But scientists are exploring treatments, and one exciting clinical trial looked at something called CNM-Au8 to see if it could help.
What's CNM-Au8? It's like a tiny special medicine made of gold that might protect our nerve cells. Scientists hoped it could help slow down ALS by boosting energy in our cells and reducing stress.
In the trial, 45 people with ALS took part. They were split into two groups. One group got CNM-Au8 every day for 36 weeks, and the other group received a pretend pill called a placebo. Everyone also took a regular ALS medicine called riluzole.
The main thing scientists wanted to check was how well people's muscles worked using a special test called MUNIX. They also looked at breathing and other things to see if CNM-Au8 made a difference.
At the end of the 36 weeks, the results were interesting. The test for muscle function (MUNIX) and other measurements didn't show a big difference between the group taking CNM-Au8 and the group taking the pretend pill.
But here's the exciting part: when they checked on everyone a year later, they found something surprising. People who took CNM-Au8 had a 60% lower risk of passing away compared to those who had the pretend pill during the trial. This means that the CNM-Au8 might have helped people live longer.
Also, the ones who started with CNM-Au8 and continued it even after the trial seemed to face fewer serious problems related to ALS, like needing help to breathe or eat through tubes.