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Currently there is no cure for ALS, yet patients suffering from the disease can be made more comfortable with the following options:
- medications to relieve painful muscle cramps, excessive salivation and other symptoms.
- heat or whirlpool therapy to relieve muscle cramping.
- exercise, although recommended in moderation, may 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 good nutrition and offer other dietary options when swallowing becomes difficult.
- speech therapy and communication training to maintain as many verbal communication skills as possible. Communication training also indicates 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.
Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Rilutek®, the first drug that has reliably prolonged the survival of persons with ALS. Patients, however, will not get stronger nor regain lost strength with this drug.
Managing the symptoms is a process that may be challenging for people with ALS, their care givers and the medical team, but there are many community resources available for support and assistance.
Request an Appointment
Learn how to request an appointment with the ALS Clinic at Johns Hopkins.
Adult Neurology: 410-955-9441
Pediatric Neurology: 410-955-4259
Adult Neurosurgery: 410-955-6406
Pediatric Neurosurgery: 410-955-7337
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