About 15 new cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of exclusion, are diagnosed each day in the United States. ALS impairs voluntary musculature, both in the extremities and the organs involved in speaking, swallowing, and breathing. Life expectancy averages two to five years after diagnosis. No cure yet exists, with one approved medication appearing to slow the disease process. The importance of supportive measures and palliative care to optimize quality of life
for patients with ALS is clear.
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