We are dedicated to transforming the treatment of dementia through patient care, education and innovative research and clinical trials.

Also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are nerve cells that control muscle cells. ALS attacks the motor neurons eventually causing them to die resulting in inability to move and control movement.

Symptoms of ALS

ALS symptoms usually begins in people ages 40 to 70 years. Although, adults can also experience symptoms in their 20s and 30s.

Symptoms may be limited to a single area on the body or may affect multiple areas.

The first signs of ALS, include:

  • Weakness in the hands or arms
  • Weakness in the legs or feet

ALS patients may also experience:

  • Muscle cramps, spasms or twitching in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking/balancing
  • Difficulty speaking and swallowing
  • Fatigue

Diagnosing ALS

Since there currently is no single diagnostic test for ALS, our team of neurologists specializing in neuromuscular diseases may use a few of the following tests for diagnosis:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Neurological exam
  • Muscle biopsy
  • Spinal tap
  • Genetic tests

Causes and risks of ALS

The exact causes of ALS are unknown.

ALS risk factors include:

  • Family history
    • 5% to 10% of ALS diagnoses are familial ALS, meaning the disease runs in the family.
  • Age
    • Risk increases between the ages of 40 and 60.
  • Gender
    • Men tend to develop ALS more than women.
  • Military service
    • Veterans are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS.

Treatment for ALS

Currently there is no cure for ALS, but there are medications to treat and help manage symptoms.

Innovative therapies through clinical trials

We are committed to providing the best ALS treatment for our patients. Because of our world-renowned research, those impacted by dementia have access to the newest and most advanced treatments through clinical trials.

Learn more about advanced treatments through clinical trials

To make an appointment, call

Interested in learning more about neurodegenerative diseases?

Join us for Dialogue on Dementia where we bring renowned physicians and scientists to you for open discussion on Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Learn more