Often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive degenerative disease of the nervous system. This nerve degeneration affects the mind and body in many different ways, including weakness and atrophy of the body's muscles. It is estimated that approximately 30,000 people in the United States have ALS at any given time. While a cure is not yet available, options are available slow the progression of symptoms.
The Cedars-Sinai Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Program offers comprehensive care for ALS patients under the directorship of Robert Baloh, MD, PhD. Program physicians include Abirami Muthukumaran, MD and Eugene Tsimerinov, MD of the Department of Neurology and Ashraf Elsayegh, MD, of pulmonology.
The ALS Program has a close and active interaction with the basic and research scientists at Cedars-Sinai's Regenerative Medicine Institute under the direction of Clive Svendsen, PhD, to help develop and test new treatments for ALS.
A Multidisciplinary Team Approach
Because ALS affects major functions of the body, patient care at Cedars-Sinai is coordinated through professionals from multiple medical disciplines. These skilled specialists work together as a team to integrate management of the disease. Key team members include:
- Board certified neurologist
- Board certified pulmonologist
- Registered nurse
- Patient Care Representative
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Registered dietician
- Speech-language pathologist
- Licensed clinical social worker
- Respiratory therapist
For patient convenience, most services are available in the same location at Cedars-Sinai. This may include referrals to a Cedars-Sinai pulmonologist and gastroenterologist familiar with ALS.
Research and Clinical Trials
The ALS Program is continually pursuing new clinical trials. For more information, please contact the department.
Partnership with ALS Association
The ALS Program at Cedars-Sinai has partnered with the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the ALS Association to pool resources and initiate research activities.
ALS Support Groups
Cedars-Sinai works with the ALS Association to conduct the monthly support group in West Los Angeles:
|West Los Angeles Support Group|
|2nd Saturday of each month|
|1:00 pm to 2:30 pm|
|Red Cross West Los Service Center (enter through VA main entrance on Wilshire Blvd.)|
|VA Hospital Grounds, Room B|
|11301 Wilshire Blvd|
|Los Angeles, CA 90073|
|Contact: Leader: Linda O'Connor, LCSW|
|Phone: (310) 423-1065|
For an appointment, a second opinion or more information, please call 1-800-CEDARS-1 (1-800-233-2771) or e-mail us.
In the 2012-13 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals issue, Cedars-Sinai once again ranked among America's best in Neurology and Neurosurgery.