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ALS Program

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Appointments and Referrals
(619) 543-3500

Location
 UC San Diego Health – La Jolla
4510 Executive Drive

The Most Comprehensive ALS Program in San Diego

If you've been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or need to be evaluated, you've come to the right place. ALS, or Lou Gherig's Disease, is complex and different for each person. You need top experts in the field who can guide you through your options and work with you to develop a care plan that meets your needs.

We offer you the full spectrum of individualized medical and support services as well as access to leading ALS research programs and clinical trials.

Why Choose Us for ALS Diagnosis and Care?

Efficient Appointments

When you come to the ALS Clinic, you meet with every member of your care team in one appointment. We serve as a one-stop opportunity to take care of everything without the hassle of many appointments.

Integrated Care

The clinic serves the comprehensive needs of patients with ALS in a multidisciplinary manner. That means your 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 coordination needed with your primary care physician, and just about everything else.

Leaders in the Field

The UC San Diego ALS Clinic is recognized by the Muscular Dystrophy Association and ALS Association. Our clinicians and staff are dedicated to ALS therapy and are on the forefront of the newest information about the disease. Because of this, we are recognized leaders in the field of ALS.

Meet Our ALS Team

U.S. News & World Report - UC San Diego Health Ranked Nationally in Neurology and Neurosurgery

Our clinical team strives to ensure you can function at the highest level and maintain the best quality of life possible.

Our neuromuscular doctors can evaluate your condition and make or confirm a diagnosis. See Evaluation and Diagnosis

We take a proactive approach to oversee your treatment plans. At the same time, we educate you and your caregivers to help you make informed decisions about your care.   

Physicians

Our team also includes specialists from:

  • Neurology
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Nutrition
  • Social work
  • Respiratory care
  • Gastroenterology
  • ALS Association (patient advocacy)

Research

DNA photoOur physicians and scientists conduct research in the UC San Diego School of Medicine that leads to innovations in treatment for patients.

See a list of clinical trials for ALS

Patients are also invited to donate samples to our biorepositories.

ALS Biorepositories

The ALS Blood Bank is a repository of blood samples collected from volunteers with ALS to be used for current and future research projects. Some of the projects include searching for ALS biomarkers, genetic factors and gene expression in ALS, and pathophysiology of ALS. The donation is less than 100 mL of blood (this is less than one fifth of the amount that is standard for Red Cross donations) and provides an abundance of research material for multiple research projects. We are collecting samples from both volunteers with ALS and people who do not have ALS (control volunteers).

Skin Tissue Bank

We are creating a bank of cultured fibroblast cells using skin biopsy samples collected from sporadic ALS patients, control volunteers and especially patients with C9orf72 mutation and their family members. These cells allow for ongoing research of the pathophysiology of both sporadic and genetic forms of ALS, and provide a research model for therapies.

We are searching for more volunteers willing to have a skin biopsy to support this research. While science has sophisticated models and technologies to study these diseases, direct access to human tissues with these diseases is vitally important and in short supply. Volunteering involves having a skin biopsy procedure performed (a small 3 mm incision is made to collect the sample). From this biopsy, a specific type of cell called a fibroblast will be extracted and then cultured to become a resource for future studies.

ALS Central Nervous System (CNS) Tissue Bank

Information gained from central nervous system (CNS) tissues collected after death is vital to the ongoing research at the UC San Diego Center for ALS Research and Therapy. Despite years of research, the actual pathogenesis of ALS remains unknown. 

Effective treatments will depend on a better understanding of the cause of the disease. Gaining both ALS and control (healthy) tissue is needed for this research process. We ask that ALS patients, friends and family members consider making the commitment to assist in future research by agreeing to donate CNS tissue samples.

Contact ALS Research Biorepositories: 858-246-1319

Support our Work

Help support UC San Diego's ongoing research in ALS. Make an online donation.

You can also make a gift via check to UC San Diego Foundation. The check memo should read: ALS Clinic Fund (2331). Please send your check to: UCSD Gift Processing; 9500 Gilman Drive, #0940; La Jolla, CA 92093-0940