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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is a disorder of motor neurons, the cells in the brain and spinal cord responsible for muscle function. Sometimes called "Lou Gehrig's Disease," ALS causes progressive weakness, muscle stiffness or clumsiness, and difficulty speaking, swallowing, or breathing.

Specialties that diagnose or treat this condition:

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The symptoms vary among individuals, but are serious and progressive. ALS is diagnosed by neurologists, generally with the help of nerve and muscle testing and imaging tests to exclude other conditions.

Our Approach

Management of ALS requires a team of specialists who are knowledgeable about the condition. The M Health Fairview ALS program is part of our Muscular Dystrophy Association-affiliated commitment to clinical care in neuromuscular disorders and is an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence.

Our ALS team includes neurologists board-certified in Neuromuscular Medicine, a pulmonologist (physician expert in managing breathing difficulty), a nurse, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, dietician, genetic counselor, social worker, psychologist, and a research coordinator with extensive experience in ALS research, who directs ALS research at the University of Minnesota.


Treatments, Tests, and Procedures

Neuromuscular Ultrasound

Neuromuscular ultrasound is an imaging test which is complementary to the electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) and allows your physician to directly visualize your nerves and muscles.
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Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Studies (NCS)

EMG and NCS are diagnostic tests that help your physician evaluate the function of your peripheral nerves and the electrical activity generated by your muscles. Those tests might be prescribed if you have tingling, numbness, weakness, muscle cramping or pain.
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Speech and Language Pathology

Sometimes called speech therapists, speech-language pathologists work with children and adults to improve their ability to communicate with others. They also treat people with swallowing problems.
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