MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine is opening a multidisciplinary ALS Center to provide comprehensive care that will help ALS patients in the western suburbs live longer, with improved quality of life.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells that control muscle movements. Over time, the fatal disease impairs patients' ability to move, talk, eat and breathe on their own. (ALS also has been known as Lou Gehrig's disease.)
Loyola's ALS Center will provide care from multiple specialists, including neurologist Lawrence Zeidman, MD, who has subspecialty training in neuromuscular disorders; pulmonologist Amy Guralnick, MD, an expert in noninvasive ventilation; and neuropsychologist Susan Walsh, PsyD, who treats mental disorders common in ALS patients, such as depression and pseudobulbar affect (sudden uncontrollable laughing or crying).
The center also includes respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, speech and swallowing specialists, respiratory equipment and exercise and nutrition programs.
Each patient is given a customized plan of care, and patients and caregivers receive extensive education on how to manage the disease.
There is no cure for ALS. But studies have shown that being treated in a multidisciplinary ALS center improves quality of life and extends longevity. And new medications such as edaravone (trade name, Radicava®) can delay progression of the disease and improve a patient's ability to perform activities of daily living.
The ALS Center is located at the Loyola Outpatient Center in Maywood. To make an appointment, call 888-584-7888.