Why Choose Ohio State for ALS Care

Author: Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

The one of the diseases I'm involved with treating here at Ohio State is ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which is a disease that attacks both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. And what it really means is that this is a disorder that affects the function of the nerves that communicate to our muscles and allow us to move and to do what we want to do as people. One of the challenges with that disease is that as it progresses, people ultimately start losing function and have difficulty with walking, they may have difficulty using their arms or hands and ultimately they can have difficulty with breathing or chewing and swallowing. So it's a very challenging disease to treat. It is a disease that unfortunately is universally fatal and we don't have a cure for it at this point in time. We do have lots of treatments and actually one of the great things about Ohio State is that we have a comprehensive ALS center where people get to see physicians, they get to see therapists including occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists. They also get to see a social worker if they need it and we also have support through the Muscular Dystrophy Association so there's already somebody always somebody there from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to talk to patients if they want to learn more.

In addition to that, one of the great things that we offer here at Ohio State is that we're very active in a number of clinical studies in ALS, which I think is really important because since it is a disease that we don't have a cure for what we need to be doing is actively studying this disease and trying to understand it better and trying to work towards a cure and at least until that point helping people live the best lives they can with the time that they have. One of the great things about Ohio State is that we're really on the cutting edge not just of ALS treatment, but also of ALS research. And that's one thing that we offer that not a lot of other places in the area can provide to patients. One of the things that I do in the ALS clinic and one of the projects that I've been involved with is using a diaphragm pacer for patients with ALS. For people who have ALS the reason why people with that disease ultimately end up succumbing from it is from respiratory failure. So this is a project that we've been looking at trying to support breathing function better in people with ALS by using a device that helps support the diaphragm. You can get great clinical care I think in a lot of different places but one of the things that sets Ohio State apart is the fact that all the physicians here are constantly sort of on the edge, pushing the envelope in terms of the most advanced, most recent treatments to the patients that come here.

So that's something that you know you just can't get everywhere else. We have a ton of clinical studies that are always going. There's opportunities for patients to enroll, and to experience and try out new medications that may not be available to the population in general. So I think that's a great advantage of what we have here.

Why Choose Ohio State for ALS Care

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