New Orleans, LA
– Dr. John England, Professor and Chairman of Neurology at LSU Health Sciences
Center New Orleans, analyzed research findings and was responsible for the
quality and accuracy of evidence analysis and the conclusions of the studies
resulting in new guidelines for treating Lou Gehrig’s disease, or amyotropic
lateral sclerosis (ALS). The guidelines will be published in the October 13,
2009 issue of Neurology, the journal
The guidelines recommend the use of the drug riluzole, the only FDA-approved drug for ALS, to slow the progression of the disease. Assisted-breathing devices and the use of a PEG feeding tube may increase longevity and quality of life. Botulin toxin B may be used to treat drooling if oral medications are not effective. And the guidelines recommend screening patients for behavioral or thinking problems because they commonly occur with this disease and may interfere with treatment choices. Early enrollment in a multidisciplinary ALS clinic is advised because access to specialized treatments may also increase survival and quality of life.
“These new guidelines provide specific,
evidence-based recommendations for the care of patients with ALS,” notes Dr.
According to the National Institute of
Neurological Disorders, ALS is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal
neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling
voluntary muscles. As many as 20,000 Americans have ALS, and an estimated 5,000
people in the
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana’s health care professionals. The state’s academic health leader, LSUHSC comprises a School of Medicine, the state’s only School of Dentistry, Louisiana’s only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSUHSC faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSUHSC research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact, LSUHSC faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit http://www.lsuhsc.edu and http://www.twitter.com/LSUHSCHealth.
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