ELITE SCIENTISTS WORKING ON ALS RESEARCH EVERY DAY
Currently, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has no cure. The FDA-approved drug, Rilutek, extends survival somewhat.
Patients suffering from the disease can maximize their abilities and be made more comfortable with the following treatment or therapeutic options:
- • Medications to relieve painful muscle cramps, excess salivation and other symptoms
- • Heat or whirlpool therapy to relieve muscle cramping
- • Exercise, though recommended in moderation, to help maintain muscle strength and function
- • Physical therapy to maintain mobility and ease the discomfort of muscle stiffness, cramps and fluid retention
- • Nutritional counseling to promote optimal calories and dietary balance and to offer diet-based help when swallowing becomes difficult
- • Speech therapy to maintain as many verbal communication skills as possible and communication training to offer non-verbal techniques
- • Devices such as splints, corrective braces, grab bars, reach-extenders, etc. to help with daily activities such as dressing, eating, using the toilet and bathing
- • Special equipment such as wheelchairs, electric beds or mattresses to maximize functional independence
If you’re looking to confirm an ALS diagnosis, learn more about ALS clinical trials or seek medical care for the disease, contact the Johns Hopkins Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic. ALS scientists at the Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins are working aggressively through targeted research projects to uncover new ALS treatments and to find a cure.
Tim Miller, MD, PhD
Cells in the spinal cord known as microglia can become activated during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These cells are also involved in inflammation and appear to accelerate disease progression. He has determined part of the genetic program underlying the activation of inflammatory pathways in microglia. Dr. Miller will attempt to block this genetic program as a way to slow down progression of disease in an animal model of ALS, and then translate this type of therapy to treatment of human ALS.