Interventions That Impact Disease Progression
A multidisciplinary approach to patient care has been proven to help prolong patient survival times.2
Malnutrition affects up to 50% of patients with ALS, as the muscles involved in chewing and swallowing become insufficient.
If patients can still safely chew and swallow, encourage the consumption of high calorie and high protein foods. If food intake is considered unsafe, consider a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube.1
Respiratory failure is the leading cause of death in ALS, so early intervention is mandatory. Noninvasive ventilation (NIV) earlier in disease course has been shown to extend survival times.
If respiratory function declines significantly, tracheostomy or permanent assisted ventilation is often required.1,3
There are a growing number of emerging clinical treatments for ALS.
Medications can be recommended to manage symptoms like muscle cramps and fatigue, which may improve the quality of life for some patients.
ALS Treatment Options
Ongoing clinical efforts continue to advance our understanding of ALS and its pathophysiology. This research, along with available treatment options, is bringing real promise to those affected by ALS.
Benefits of Multidisciplinary ALS Care2
You may also want to refer patients to an ALS clinic. ALS clinics have been proven to help prolong patient survival times versus general neurology clinics.
Patients who attended an ALS clinic experienced a
- 43.7% decreased risk of death
- 7.5 month increase in average survival time
Finding the Right ALS Center
- ALS Association-certified clinics are nationally located and can be found at
- Muscular dystrophy association (MDA) care centers can be found at www.mda.org/services/your-mda-care-center
If an ALS clinic is not accessible in your patients’ geographic region, you can still connect them with a range of clinical specialists in your area.
Role of the Caregiver
It’s important that patients understand the role and importance of a caregiver and that they have a network of family members and loved ones to rely upon for continued support.
Encourage patients to bring their caregivers to medical consultations. Providing caregivers directly with information on disease activity and progression will give them the firsthand insight they need to make the best possible care decisions.