Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or Motor Neuron Disease, is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control muscle movement. The ALS Clinic at the NSU Health Neuroscience Institute provides specialty care for patients diagnosed with ALS. Our multidisciplinary team approach will assess you from head-to-toe to ensure we address all aspects of the disease including physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

Call (954) 262-6387

What to Expect at Your ALS Clinic Visit

Please come prepared with any questions you may have for each specialist. A typical clinic visit lasts 3 hours, so bring anything you may need to be comfortable during that time (e.g. snacks, medication, respiratory equipment).

Clinical Services

NSU Health is home to neurologists who specialize in diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders such as ALS. Our clinical staff strives to meet the complex needs of ALS patients and their families. 

You will be evaluated by a dietitian at each clinic visit to assess your nutrition, the need for supplements, and to provide recommendations to maintain weight and prevent malnutrition. The dietitian will also provide recommendations and education on the use and care of a PEG (feeding) tube. 

 

 

Diseases like ALS affect all aspects of a person’s life, as well as the lives of their families. It is important to address the emotional, cognitive, and quality of life issues that arise as people face the challenges of living with ALS. 

You will be seen by Dr. Locatelli and Dr. Lopes, neuromuscular disease experts with extensive experience in treating patients with ALS. During your visit, they will review common symptoms and concerns, perform a physical examination, and discuss treatment options, medications, equipment, and research opportunities.  

Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of your illness to help you and your family make challenging medical decisions and provide education about end-of-life issues.

You will be evaluated by a physical and occupational therapist to assess range of motion, strength, and muscle function at each clinic appointment. They may also recommend orthotics or supplies.  

Research opportunities will be discussed with you during your clinic visits.

You will be evaluated by a respiratory therapist to collect breathing measurements at each clinic appointment. When it is appropriate, machines to assist in cough and breathing (eg., cough assist machine and non-invasive ventilator) may be ordered to assist breathing and help maintain lung health. Suction machines can also be ordered for patients with difficulty managing secretions and saliva.  

A social worker and a representative from the ALS Association (ALSA) will meet with you at every clinic visit. They will provide you with community resources and life planning, including information about long-term care services, advanced directives, support groups, and different types of funding that are available for patients with ALS and caregivers.

Learn More About the ALS Association

As ALS progresses, the muscles that support speech and swallowing become impaired. Your Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will assess speech and swallowing at each visit and make recommendations that may include an x-ray swallowing test (Modified Barium swallow study), swallowing strategies and compensations, and options for voice preservation and alternative communication.

What We Know About ALS

Little is known about what causes ALS and other motor neuron diseases. Current research suggests that both genetics and environment play a role in their development. Scientific research and clinical trials can help us to gain a better understanding so that we can find new and improved ways to treat these diseases.

Entrance view of the CCR Building

Clinical Trials

Currently, motor neuron diseases including ALS and Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) do not have a cure. Research is crucial to advance the science and develop effective drug and treatment options for motor neuron disease. Here at ALS Clinic within NSU Health's Neuroscience Institute, we participate in various types of research and are happy to discuss research options during your clinic visit.

HEALEY ALS Platform Trial

Learn More About Clinical Trials

Donate to ALS Research and Care

You can make a difference in providing care and support to families in your community and beyond by donating to the ALS Clinic at the NSU Health Neuroscience Institute. 

Giving Opportunity: NSU Health

Gift Area: Locatelli Support Fund for ALS Research and Care

Donate Online

For more funding and naming opportunities, please contact donorrelations@nova.edu or (954) 262-2100. You can also explore other ways to get involved in ALS research and advocacy, such as becoming an ALS Research Ambassador

Visit the NSU Health Neuroscience Institute at the Center for Collaborative Research

Professional Staff

The NSU ALS Clinic is co-directed by Drs. Eduardo Locatelli and Lauren Tabor Gray. Gabriela Lopes is the lead clinic coordinator and nurse practitioner.

Avrie Bradley

Patient Access Coordinator

Kayla Chomko, D.P.T.

Physical Therapist

Emilie Kean, O.T.

Occupational Therapist

Tamara LeBlanc, R.R.T.

Respiratory Therapist

Eduardo Locatelli, M.D., M.P.H.

Medical Director

Gabriela Lopes, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., FNP-BC

Lead Clinic Coordinator

Rania Massad, D.P.T.

Physical Therapist

Jean Mendolia, R.D.

Dietitian

Donovan Mott

Clinical Research Associate

Lauren Tabor Gray, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

ALS Clinical Scientist, SLP Clinician, and Swallowologist

Schedule Your Appointment

We strive to get new and established patients scheduled as soon as possible. To schedule a new patient appointment related to a diagnosis of ALS, please contact us at the number below. To help us, please be sure to have your medical records faxed to (954) 262-6293. 

Call (954) 262-6387

NSU Health services are covered by most insurance providers