ALS Specialist

Michigan Neurology Associates & PC

Neurologists & Pain Management Specialists located in Clinton Township, MI & St. Clair Shores, MI

Receiving a diagnosis of ALS can be frightening and confusing. With the help of the experienced physicians at Michigan Neurology Associates & PC, you can access the resources you need to stay physically and mentally healthy in spite of your symptoms. At their offices serving the Metro Detroit area in Clinton Township, St. Clair Shores, Utica, and Westland, Michigan, you receive compassionate, comprehensive care for ALS-related symptoms. Learn more about available treatments for ALS, including medications and physical therapy, by calling the office nearest you or booking an appointment online today.

ALS Q & A

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells known as the motor neurons that exit both skull and spine. Most commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the famous baseball player who had the condition, ALS causes your muscles to waste away. This degeneration occurs when the motor neurons that control the muscles die off, leaving your swallowing and limb muscle control progressively impaired.

As a result, your voluntary muscle movements decline, affecting the functionality of your breathing, speaking, and walking.

What are the symptoms of ALS?

Early symptoms of ALS may include muscle twitching and weakness in your limbs. As the condition worsens, you may experience:

  • Poor posture
  • Slurred speech
  • Muscle cramps
  • Difficulties walking
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Frequent trips and falls

Generally, ALS symptoms begin in your hands and feet and spread to the other areas of your body. In advanced ALS, you may find it difficult to breathe without assistance or struggle to chew and swallow food.

How is ALS diagnosed?

In the early stages of ALS, symptoms can be similar to other underlying medical conditions, and the medical team at Michigan Neurology Associates & PC may perform diagnostic testing to rule out other health issues.

Tests may include imaging technology like:

  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Nerve conduction study (NCS)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Muscle biopsy

Your physician also reviews your personal and family medical history to determine if ALS may be an inherited condition.

What treatments are available for ALS?

If you already have damage to your motor neurons due to ALS, treatment can’t repair it. However, there are therapies available to slow down the progression of the disease and prevent a worsening of health complications.

These therapies may include:

  • Medications
  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Breathing exercises
  • Mobility aids and assistance appliances

Your Michigan Neurology Associates & PC physician also provides comprehensive nutritional support to ensure your body stays healthy. If you have trouble swallowing, they can recommend, swallowing therapy, a dietary plan, or eventually a feeding tube to prevent choking and other complications.

As the progressive nature of ALS can trigger emotional and mental side effects, such as depression and anxiety, your Michigan Neurology Associates & PC can coordinate care with the on-site psychologist to ensure your overall good health.

If ALS runs in your family or you have early signs of the disease, schedule an evaluation with the neurological team at Michigan Neurology Associates & PC online or by phone today.