Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, involves the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. When motor nerve cells no longer send impulses to muscles, the muscles begin to waste away, causing increased weakness and paralysis. Eventually, ALS affects the muscles needed to move, speak, eat and breathe.
There is currently no cure for ALS, but researchers at ALS Center at The George Washington University Hospital are developing ways to help fight against the disease.
The ALS Center uses a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat affected patients and to support their families and caregivers. The team includes a board-certified neuromuscular neurologist, a board-certified pulmonologist, a neuromuscular nurse practitioner and a clinical research coordinator as well as a speech-language pathologist, physical and occupational therapists, a dietitian and a social worker who is an ALS specialist. Members of the team are present at each visit and develop plans to help patients maintain a high quality of life.