Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Treated by Neurologists in Baltimore

Neurology Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Doctors at The Neurology Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore are committed to treating a wide spectrum of neurology disorders and neuromuscular disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). 

Patients diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, may experience symptoms of numbness and tingling. These and other related symptoms can be evaluated and treated at our Center. 

About the Condition

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS,) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurologic disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The affected nerve cells, referred to as motor neurons, control the voluntary muscles like the arms, legs and face.

ALS is a rare disorder and there is no known cause for the disorder. Research has shown that a gene may cause some familial ALS cases.  ALS is a fast, progressive debilitating disease. The progression of the disease is different for each individual.   

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Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Because ALS symptoms are often subtle, they are sometimes unnoticed. When ALS symptoms do appear, it is important to seek medical care from your primary care doctor who may refer you to a specialist or a neurologist who treats ALS.

Familiar symptoms of ALS are weakness in the face, one hand, one leg or the tongue. Over time, both legs weaken and this may be followed by other symptoms that may include:

  • Muscle twitching
  • Difficulty performing tasks like buttoning a shirt or turning a key in a lock
  • Trouble breathing, eating, speaking, swallowing and walking

To diagnose ALS, your doctor will perform a thorough physical exam and take a complete medical history. Your doctor may also order the following tests:

  • Electromyogram (EMG) to measure how well your nerves and muscles work
  • Nerve conduction studies to measure nerve function
  • Muscle biopsy to test muscle tissue
  • MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging to take images of the brain and spine
  • Blood test
  • Urine test
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Treatment Options

Although there is no cure for ALS, a variety of treatment options are available to help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life. At The Neurology Center at Mercy, neurologists work with a multidisciplinary team of specialists. Interventional pain management physicians, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, radiologists, vascular surgeons and occupational and speech therapists help patients manage their condition.

Some ALS treatment options may include:

Meet Our Doctors: Neurology Center
The Neurology Center at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Bonnie Gerecke, M.D.

A 2020 TOP DOC
Dr. Bonnie Gerecke, Director of The Neurology Center and Chief of Neurology and Medical Director of Rehabilitation at Mercy Medical Center, offers expertise in diagnosing, evaluating and managing neuromuscular disease.

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