Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) | Lou Gehrig's Disease
For more information call:410-328-3100 410-328-3100
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disease. These debilitating conditions that affect the neurons in the brain also include Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s disease.
A diagnosis of ALS can be challenging for patients and their families. Approximately 3,000 to 5,000 new cases of ALS are diagnosed in the United States each year.
University of Maryland ALS Clinic
The University of Maryland ALS Clinic has provided families the help they need in managing patients' complex and changing medical needs since 2006. One of only two university-based programs in Maryland, we offer a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to care.
University of Maryland Midtown Campus
827 Linden Avenue, 7th floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Office Hours: Second Tuesday of the month 8 am - 4:30 PM
ALS Treatment Services
Our team of specialists includes a neurologist, pulmonologist and nutritionist as well as physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapists. Offered monthly, this all-day clinic offers evidence-based care that has been thoroughly researched and proven effective at producing positive outcomes for patients.
Our clinic provides non-invasive ventilation in respiratory failure and neuromuscular disease as well as pulmonary rehabilitation. Therapy services for those diagnosed with ALS include:
The ALS Association (ALSA), a national nonprofit organization fighting ALS, has named our program a "Certified Treatment Center of Excellence." This is the highest level of certification for ALS clinics given by ALSA.
ALS Diagnosis and Symptoms
Symptoms usually develop after age 50 but can occur in younger people. Breathing or swallowing muscles may be the first affected. It usually affects one part of the body first, such as the arm or hand.
An increasing loss of muscle strength and coordination makes it impossible to do routine tasks such as climbing stairs, lifting items or getting out of a chair. It does not affect the senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch) and rarely affects bladder or bowel function, eye movement or a person's ability to think or reason.
Other symptoms include:
- Choking, drooling and gagging
- Head drop due to weakness of the neck muscles
- Muscle cramps and contractions
- Slow or abnormal speech patterns (slurring of words)
- Voice changes, hoarseness
- Weight loss