Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a disease that affects the nervous system. It causes muscle weakness and impacts physical function. It is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with it. ALS is a motor neuron disease that causes nerve cells to gradually break down and die. While a small number of cases are inherited, doctors do not know why ALS occurs. Symptoms usually begin with muscle twitching and weakness in an arm or leg and sometimes slurred speech. It gradually affects the ability to control muscles needed to speak, eat, breathe and move. There is no cure, and ultimately it is fatal.

During the past 40 years, the UAB Neuromuscular Disease Service has grown into an internationally recognized center for clinical care, diagnostic clinical neurophysiology, and diagnostic muscle and nerve histopathology. As the only dedicated tertiary care neuromuscular center in Alabama, our board-certified neurologists with subspecialty expertise provide comprehensive care with the most current medical techniques for a broad array of diseases and conditions.  

Thanks to UAB’s strong clinical and basic research programs, you can be assured that we remain at the pioneering edge of medical discoveries, which could lead to opportunities for you to participate in studies and receive medications and treatments not available at most other health care centers. 

We excel at the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders. Our specialists have authored major textbooks on electromyography and evoked potential. Moreover, our dedicated diagnostic laboratory and biopsy suite helps ensure the most comprehensive assessment and pathologic diagnosis of peripheral nervous system disorders in the Southeast.

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