New ALS guideline establishes national standard for managing neurodegenerative disease

November 16, 2020

The first Canadian guideline for the care and management of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) -- Lou Gehrig's disease -- recommends a patient-focused approach, with attention to holistic and emotional aspects of well-being.

The guideline, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), is intended for ALS clinicians, allied health professionals and primary care providers, and contains an easy-to-reference table with comprehensive recommendations. As new evidence may change management, the guideline will be updated every 5 years.

"These best practice recommendations are an important step forward in improving the lives of people living with ALS across the country and supporting their caregivers by addressing important issues," says Dr. Christen Shoesmith, neurologist and Motor Neuron Diseases Clinic director at London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario, and chair of the ALS guideline working group. "The emphasis on expert consensus relative to evidence-based recommendations highlights the need for more research in ALS management and underscores the challenges ALS clinicians face in managing patients with this complex and devastating disease."

About 3000 Canadians live with ALS, a debilitating degenerative disease affecting the brain and spinal cord that ultimately results in paralysis. ALS has no cure, and four out of five people with ALS will die within five years of being diagnosed.

The guideline is based on the best available evidence as well as expert consensus when evidence is lacking. It is intended to guide Canadian clinicians through issues unique to Canada and to update previous guidelines published in the United States and Europe.The guideline provides detailed recommendations for managing symptoms including pain, cramps, sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety as well as recommendations for respiratory management, nutrition, exercise, medication alignment, palliative care and more.

The authors emphasize the need for more research into ALS treatment and the challenges in caring for people with this disease.

Funding for the guideline was provided by the ALS Society of Canada and the Canadian ALS Research Network (CALS).

Listen to a podcast

"This guideline will enable ALS clinics across Canada to meet a common national standard, and to adapt as this standard continues to evolve over time. In doing so, ALS clinicians can offer the best possible care to their patients and help them to navigate this exceedingly complex and devastating disease," conclude the authors.
"Canadian best practice recommendations for the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis" is published November 16, 2020.

Canadian Medical Association Journal

Related Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Articles from Brightsurf:

Converting lateral scanning into axial focusing to speed up 3D microscopy
In optical microscopy, high-speed volumetric imaging is limited by either the slow axial scanning rate or aberrations introduced by the z-scanning mechanism.

Ammonium triggers formation of lateral roots
Despite the importance of changes in root architecture to exploit local nutrient patches, mechanisms integrating external nutrient signals into the root developmental program remain poorly understood.

'Reelin' in a new treatment for multiple sclerosis
In an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), decreasing the amount of a protein made in the liver significantly protected against development of the disease's characteristic symptoms and promoted recovery in symptomatic animals, UTSW scientists report.

Adjustable lordotic expandable vs static lateral lumbar interbody fusion devices
The objective of this study is to compare the clinical and radiographic outcomes between patients treated with static and expandable interbody spacers with adjustable lordosis for MIS LLIF.

Chirality-assisted lateral momentum transfer for bidirectional enantioselective separation
Chiral nanoparticles which twist the light were theoretically predicted to experience lateral forces perpendicular to light vector but lacks experimental verification.

Not all multiple sclerosis-like diseases are alike
Scientists say some myelin-damaging disorders have a distinctive pathology that groups them into a unique disease entity.

Researchers delay onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in laboratory models
Scientists have delayed the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in laboratory models, leaving them cautiously optimistic that the result, combined with other clinical advances, points to a potential treatment for ALS in humans.

Emerging role of adenosine in brain disorders and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The role of adenosine in neurodegeneration and neuroregeneration has led to growing attention on adenosine receptors as potential drug targets in a range of brain disorders, including neuroregenerative therapy and treatment for amyotrophyic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

New clues about the origins of familial forms of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
A Brazilian study made important progress in understanding the accumulation of one of the proteins involved in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Recrutement of a lateral root developmental pathway into root nodule formation of legumes
Peas and other legumes develop spherical or cylindrical structures -- called nodules -- in their roots to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into a useable nutrient for the legume plant.

Read More: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis News and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to