How is ALS Treated?
Currently, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has no cure. The FDA-approved drug Rilutek has been shown to modestly extend survival.
Patients suffering from the disease can maximize their abilities and be made more comfortable with a variety of treatment or therapeutic options:
Medications to relieve painful muscle cramps, excess salivation, and other symptoms
Heat or whirlpool therapy to relieve muscle cramping
Moderate exercise 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 dietary balance and help maintain adequate body weight, and to offer diet-based help when swallowing becomes difficult
Speech therapy to extend verbal communication ability and communication training to offer non-verbal techniques
Devices such as splints, corrective braces, grab bars, reach-extenders 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 Robert 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.