Caring for Patients with ALS
The ALS Clinic at UC San Diego Health System
UC San Diego Health System is home to San Diego’s most comprehensive care program for patients with ALS. Our multidisciplinary team serves patients with ALS from diagnosis through treatment – providing for the whole-patient needs of people with ALS and their families.
UC San Diego Health System ALS Clinic Advantages
When you come to the ALS Clinic, you meet with every member of your care team. By providing access to all members of the care team in one appointment, the clinic serves as a one-stop opportunity for patients to take care of everything without the hassle of numerous appointments.
The clinic serves the comprehensive needs of patients with ALS in a multidisciplinary manner. That means the team members are not operating in isolation to care for you or your loved one, but are working as an integrated expert unit. After each appointment, the entire care team meets to discuss recommendations, medications, assistive device needs, clinical trial opportunities, any necessary coordination with your primary care physician and just about everything else.
The UC San Diego ALS Clinic is recognized by Muscular Dystrophy Association and ALS Association. Our clinicians and staff are dedicated to ALS therapy and are on the forefront of new medical scientific information about the disease and are recognized leaders in the field.
Learn more about what is involved in diagnosing ALS.
Patients with established diagnoses are seen at the ALS Clinic at:
UC San Diego Health System - Hillcrest
Medical Offices North
200 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92103
(Those needing to confirm a diagnosis or get a second opinion are seen at Perlman Medical Offices. See diagnosis for more information.)
ALS Clinic appointments involve a thorough examination with a number of care team members. Each appointment may take as long as 2-3 hours. During these appointments, each team member will evaluate, assess and discuss with you where you are and what services you may need. We encourage you to bring a caregiver or family member.
Approximately every three months our patients meet with this team. It is important to note, this is a clinical care appointment - it is not a support group. Your appointment is private and one-on-one. Find information on support groups.
Our team includes specialists from:
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech Therapy
- Social Work
- Respiratory Care
- ALS Association (patient advocacy)
Working with patients and caregivers, the UC San Diego team recognizes that everyone's disease and experience of the disease is different. We design individualized care plans and provide special equipment to help reduce fatigue, and keep patients as mobile and comfortable as possible.
Getting the Most out of the ALS Multidisciplinary Team Experience
- Come to clinic prepared with any questions you may have. Don’t be afraid to ask anything that you are wondering about.
- Have someone come with you to each clinic visit.
- Make sure you or the person who comes with you brings a pencil and paper to write down information.
- Get contact numbers of each member of the team so that you can reach them if necessary.
- Make sure that you continue seeing your primary care physician; he or she can keep us informed of any health concerns that come up.
- Take advantage of associations that can provide support and knowledge such as Multiple Dystrophy Association and ALS Association.
- Learn about research and clinical trials. Consider participating in research to help us develop ways to stop ALS.