NYU Langone doctors are dedicated to providing people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their families with the resources they need to manage ongoing care, maintain a good quality of life, and, possibly, prolong survival.
ALS causes the respiratory muscles to weaken, so that breathing eventually becomes difficult. People with ALS may need to receive a mixture of air and oxygen from a machine. A separate device called a ventilator may also be needed to help the breathing muscles contract. If air cannot move in and out of the lungs, a tube may need to be inserted into the airway during a procedure called a tracheotomy.
NYU Langone doctors can refer you to specialists, such as pulmonologists and respiratory therapists, who provide respiratory care.
As ALS progresses, it can be difficult for people with this condition to maintain adequate nutrition, because the muscles that control chewing and swallowing weaken. People with little muscle control may benefit from having a feeding tube inserted, to ensure they are receiving the right nutrients. Those with more muscle control, however, may find nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian to be helpful, particularly as they adjust to eating softer foods or liquids.
The doctors at NYU Langone can direct you to nutritional specialists who are experienced in treating people with ALS.
Clinical trials are ongoing to investigate new treatment options for people with ALS. A clinical trial is a research study in which the use of new medications, medical devices, or other therapies is tested in a strict, scientifically controlled setting. These trials are required before the federal government approves any new therapy.
NYU Langone doctors can advise you on any clinical trials that may be beneficial to you and can guide you through the enrollment process.
Experts at NYU Langone help ensure that people with ALS and their families have access to a variety of support services, including educational programs and community support groups.