Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Care

Advanced care for motor neuron disease

Motor neuron disease is a form of degenerative disease that affects the nerves that that control voluntary movement (the motor neurons). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is the most common form of motor neuron disease.

Motor neuron diseases, including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are often difficult to diagnose. Symptoms such as muscle weakness, muscle contractions and difficulty breathing and swallowing can be associated with other neurological conditions. Tests performed to rule out other neurological conditions may include:

  • Blood work to rule out infections or other health problems
  • Imaging scans including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and CT scans
  • Spinal tap
  • Genetic tests for a family history of ALS
  • Nerve conduction studies including electromyography (EMG)

Caring for patients with ALS

While there is no cure for Lou Gehrig’s disease, there are treatment options available to help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Your Scripps neurologist may prescribe:

  • Medical management of ALS to slow progression of the disease and reduce symptoms
  • Nutritional counseling to minimize weight loss associated with Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Physical therapy to maintain muscle function
  • Respiratory therapy


Scripps Health offers ALS treatment at the folllowing locations in San Diego County: