Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- also known as Lou Gehrig's disease -- is a neurological disorder characterized by the progressive deterioration of the motor cells that make up the central nervous system.
While the disease progresses at different speeds, patients affected by ALS usually lose the ability to move their muscles, which results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and controlling their arms and legs. Some patients also experience changes in their personality or decision making ability.
ALS is a challenging disorder for physicians to diagnose and manage, and for patients and families to keep up with. Duke's specialized multdisciplinary clinic can help.
All patients are given a thorough evaluation to ensure that the diagnosis is correct. At each visit, patients have the opportunity to meet with a neurologist, nurse, social worker, physical therapist, occupational therapist, respiratory therapist, nutritionist, speech therapist, assistive technologist, clinic coordinator, and research coordinator.
This team offers the latest evidence-based treatments, as well as cutting edge research options. Care in clinics like this has been shown to prolong survival and preserve quality of life for patients with ALS.
The Duke ALS Clinic has been fortunate to receive a number of awards, including the Triangle Business Journal’s Health Care Hero Award and the Duke Medicine's Strength, Hope, and Caring Award.
Richard Bedlack, MD, the clinic director, has been named one of America’s Best Doctors for five years in a row, and was the 2009 American Academy of Neurology’s Patient Advocate of the Year.
For more information about the Duke ALS Clinic, or to get a referral or schedule an appointment, call 919-668-2875.
Physicians offering this service include:
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