ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) Clinic
Appointments and Info: 859-323-5661
For more information, call 859-218-5064 or 859-218-5061.
For those with suspected ALS
New referrals for evaluation of suspected ALS or other Motor Neuron Disease (MND) are scheduled for an initial visit. If a diagnosis of ALS or MND is confirmed, then follow-up appointments are scheduled with our multidisciplinary team. All visits are held in the Kentucky Neuroscience Institute Clinic located at the Kentucky Clinic.
The ALS multidisciplinary follow-up clinic
The ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic specializes in the care and treatment of those living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). This clinic is for patients who have already been diagnosed with either ALS or PLS.
The ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic was established in January 2003. It is the only ALS center in Kentucky certified by the ALS Association and focuses on the care of the ALS patient. The clinic utilizes a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals from the ALS Association and UK HealthCare. Dr. Edward Kasarskis, a neurologist specializing in the care of ALS patients, directs the clinic and its operations. The goal of the clinic is to provide optimal patient care, support and quality of life.
The following information describes the clinic’s team of health care professionals and their role in the ALS patient’s care. It is our intention that your visit to the clinic will be informational and benefit you and your family.
ALS Clinic Multidisciplinary Team Members
A Neurologist will develop a treatment plan for the ALS patient by evaluating the patient’s neurological function, determining medication needs, and monitoring the course of the ALS patient’s disease. You may contact our office at 859-218-5061 or 859-218-5064.
The Nurse Clinician will assist the physician with assessment of the ALS patient’s needs and care. ALS patients and caregivers can contact the nurse about patient care questions and obtaining prescription refills. You may also fax prescription refill requests to 859-257-5477. Please provide your name, telephone number, date of birth, medication needed, pharmacy name and pharmacy contact information.
The Respiratory Therapist (RT) will assess respiratory function of the ALS patient by administering a breathing test called a pulmonary function test. This will determine the degree of respiratory muscle involvement. The patient will be instructed to breathe in as deeply as possible through the mouth and then blow all the air out quickly and forcefully. The RT is also available to educate families on non-invasive (Bi-Pap) or other respiratory assistive devices. Referrals to a pulmonary physician will be made as appropriate.
The Physical Therapist (PT) will assist ALS patients with maintaining muscle strength by providing exercise programs and assistive devices to optimize function and level of independence.
The Occupational Therapist (OT) will assist patients with feeding, dressing, bathing and work performance through adaptive equipment and energy conservation. This will enable the patient to maintain their independence as the disease progresses.
The Speech Therapist will evaluate the patient’s speech and swallowing function. He/She will educate the patient about the use of alternative equipment for communication (often called augmentative communication devices).
The Social Worker will provide a psychosocial assessment of the patient to determine the needs of the patient and/or family. He or she can provide information about community resources, living wills, counseling services, Medicare, Medicaid, referrals to home health, hospice, and durable medical equipment supply companies.
The Assistive Technology Consultant is available to assess a patient’s need for assistive devices such as communication equipment, environmental controls, telephone access and computer devices.
The Registered Dietitian (RD) will assist the patient by determining their daily caloric intake needs, nutritional support, and evaluate eating and swallowing difficulties.
About your appointment
Patients will be seen in the Kentucky Clinic. Initial appointments are to be made by a referring physician and can be made by calling 859-323-5661.
Please be aware that a typical ALS appointment will last about 3 hours to allow you to visit the entire team of health care professionals in one day. ALS Clinic staff will continually monitor your progress through the clinic to ensure a smooth, comprehensive visit.
Research in ALS
ALS Research is located within the Department of Neurology. Their office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 859-218-5061 or 859-218-5064 for information.
ALS clinical research staff and physicians attend state, national and international ALS meetings throughout the year. At these meetings our staff may present posters and presentations on the latest research that is being done at UK.