Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Clinic
Approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease each year. The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
Lou Gehrig, NY Yankees first baseman, giving his famous speech in Yankee Stadium on July 4th, 1939. Less than two years after being diagnosed with ALS, Gehrig died at the age of 37.
The disease destroys the nerve cells that control muscles in healthy adults, ultimately causing complete paralysis while leaving mental function intact. ALS usually strikes in middle age or later, and men are somewhat more likely to develop the disease than women. Death often comes within two to five years of diagnosis, although some people survive longer. Currently, there is no cure for ALS. Symptoms are numerous and are compounded as the disease progresses, affecting walking, swallowing, and breathing.
The focus of care at the ALS Clinic is to preserve independence and communication, allowing patients to enjoy quality of life as long as possible. The Clinic makes this easier by bringing together the varied health disciplines needed to treat ALS patients for a one-day clinic. Every month, neurologists and nurse practitioners, along with respiratory, physical and speech therapists, and representatives from the local Muscular Dystrophy Association chapter meet with ALS patients to review the patient's status and make any changes to care as needed.
Neurology Outpatient Clinic
Strong Memorial Hospital, 1st Floor, AC-1
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 673
Rochester, NY 14642