ALS Clinic at UI Health
The ALS Clinic at UI Health brings together a team of medical professionals to meet with and treat patients all in one day. The multidisciplinary approach allows our patients to not only have an opportunity to discuss their medical needs with a neuromuscular specialist but also with a comprehensive team of medical professionals who are experienced in treating ALS, including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, social workers, and nurses. Directed by Dr. Charles Abrams, the clinic team provides important medical care for patients while also helping them in the management of their disease in a supportive, specialized, collaborative environment.
The ALS Clinic sees patients on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 1 – 5 pm. To schedule an appointment, please call 312.996.4780.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disease gradually destroys the brain and spinal cord’s motor neurons, resulting in the loss of muscle control and movement. There is no cure for ALS.
There are two different types of ALS — sporadic and familial.
- Sporadic ALS is the most common form and can impact anyone. 90% of ALS cases happen with no family history.
- Familial ALS is inherited. There is a 50% chance children of individuals with familial ALS will inherit the ALS gene mutation and develop the disease.
The most common symptoms of ALS include, but are not limited to:
- Muscle twitching, cramps, and/or weakness, especially in the hands and feet
- Loss of control in the arms or hands
- Speech problems, such as slurred or thick speech and difficulty projecting the voice
As ALS progresses, symptoms can include:
- Trouble breathing (dyspnea)
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
Meet the Clinic Director
Dr. Charles Abrams is a physician-scientist and neuromuscular neurologist at UI Health. Dr. Abrams' clinical practice focuses on delivering the highest level of multidisciplinary care in a single visit to patients with neuromuscular disorders, such as ALS, muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), myasthenia gravis, and other diseases affecting nerves and muscles. His goal is to deliver the highest level of care, including providing patients with the most up-to-date treatments for these disorders and maximizing their access to clinical trials, where appropriate. Dr. Abrams is the director of the comprehensive UIC Neuromuscular Center, which is an ALS Association-certified ALS Center of Excellence, Muscular Dystrophy Association-sponsored Clinical Care Center, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Association Center of Excellence.
To request an appointment, please call 312.996.4780.
For Existing Patients
For any questions regarding your care, you can reach out to the appropriate contact below
- Neuromuscular Nurse 312.996.8540
- EMG Lab Technician: 312.996.4780
- Genetic Counseling: 312.996.0296
- Nutrition: 312.413.3631
- Orthotics: 773.878.2445
- Occupational Therapy: 312.996.3700
- Physical Therapy: 312.996.3700
- Pulmonology: 312.355.1091
- Respiratory Services: 312.996.4335
- Speech Pathology: 312.996.3714
- Social Work: 312.355.2240