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Ask the Doc

Each month a leading neurologist specializing in ALS will respond to a question. Click on the links below for previous questions and answers. If you would like to submit questions for a future Q & A, please send your questions to


January 2014
Is this ALS? Seeking a Diagnosis When Symptoms First Appear


December 2013
Understanding Frontal Temporal Dementia

November 2013
Deciding When to Stop Working

October 2013
The Value of Having a Neurologist Who Specializes in ALS

September 2013
Dealing with Muscle Pain and Tremors

August 2013
Restless Nights, No Clear Reason

July 2013
Are There Limitations on Joining Clinical Trials?

June 2013
The Nuts and Bolts of Clinical Trials

May 2013
Organ Donation and ALS

April 2013
What Do Faciculations or Muscle Twitching Mean?

March 2013
What You Should Know About Joining a Clinical Trial

February 2013
Survival and ALS

January 2013
New Potential Drugs for ALS


November 2012
Traveling and ALS

October 2012
Advice About Caregiving

September 2012
Is Genetic Testing Right for You and Your Family?

August 2012
An Update on Stem Cells and ALS

July 2012
The Current State of ALS Treatments

June 2012
Preventing Harmful Drug Interactions

May 2012
Dealing with Hay Fever

April 2012
Understanding the Genetic Mutation Responsible for Frontotemporal Dementia and Familial ALS

March 2012
Healthy and Homemade Feeding Tube Formulas

February 2012
Do new MS Treatments Benefit People with ALS?

January 2012
ALS and Respiratory Infection


December 2011
Is Riluzole (Rilutek) Effective?

November 2011
How Other Health Issues Affect ALS

October 2011
Is the New ALS Gene Discovery a big breakthrough, or just hype?

September 2011
Stress and ALS

August 2011
Coping with the Pseudobulbar Affect

July 2011
Managing the PEG Tube

June 2011
What Patients Need to Know About Traveling

April 2011
Preparing for a Hospital Stay

March 2011
Excessive Laughing or Crying

January 2011
Can Botox Help with Drooling?


December 2010
Should I Enroll in the National ALS Registry?

November 2010
Head Trauma and ALS

October 2010
The Difference between Upper and Lower Motor Neuron Disease

September 2010
What do emergency room physicians need to know about you?

August 2010
How can I slow the progression of ALS? I hear there is one drug that can make some difference now and then others might be on the horizon?

July 2010
Do Vitamins and Supplements Help?

June 2010
Adapting to ALS as it Progresses

May 2010
Can fatigue make ALS worse?

April 2010
Coping with excess saliva

February 2010
Does it make any difference whether my husband uses BiPAP during the day rather than at night?

January 2010
I was diagnosed with ALS five years ago, but my doctor says it "hasn't fully developed." He said I could have primary lateral sclerosis (PLS). What does that mean?


December 2009
Will the new AAN guidelines for the care of people with ALS change the care I'm getting now or what my doctor is doing for me?

November 2009
It's getting harder for me to get out and about and I'm wondering how many of my doctors I really need to keep seeing?

October 2009
I'm wondering if people with ALS should get the seasonal flu and the H1N1 vaccines this year?

September 2009
What should people with ALS know about deep vein thrombosis and should we be doing anything in particular to prevent it?

August 2009
When should people with ALS get oxygen with BiPAP?

July 2009
Do normal body functions become difficult for a person with ALS?

June 2009
Is it normal for people with ALS to experience depression? What can we do about it?

May 2009
What should we know about stress and ALS? Do you think stress increases your chances of getting the disease?

April 2009
Will improving my nutrition help me stay healthier or affect the progression of ALS?

March 2009
What should people with ALS know about fatigue?

February 2009
What are the most commonly asked questions you hear from people with ALS?

January 2009
What should someone with ALS know about taking over-the-counter pain medications for common ailments, like headaches or other everyday aches and pains?


December 2008
Why should I go to an ALS Association Certified Center instead of seeing a neurologist near where we live? Is it really worth the extra trouble?

November 2008
How should I decide when I need to stop working?

October 2008
What should I know about getting exercise? Will it help or will it hurt?

September 2008
I've recently been diagnosed with ALS. Should I be taking lithium?




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