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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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Clinical Research Studies

Ultrasound in ALS Natural History Study

Ultrasound in ALS/NMD: (M-mode Ultrasound as a measure of Respiratory Dysfunction in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and other Neuromuscular diseases (NMD)

Principal Investigator:

Nanette Joyce, D.O.


Michelle Cregan, CCRP

Study Details:

Brief Summary
The purpose of this study is to learn more about the use of an ultrasound in identifying diaphragm dysfunction and to predict respiratory failure in patients diagnosed with ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. These ultrasound diagnostic results will in turn be compared to the current use of PFTs as a primary indicator of respiratory function.

There are no interventions for this study. We call these studies "Natural History Studies"


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Confirmed diagnosis of ALS
  • Confirmed clinical diagnosis supported by EMG (Electromyography) is defined as upper motor neuron or lower motor neuron findings in three of four anatomic regions.  These regions include bulbar, cervical, thoracic and lower lumbar
  • Clinically probably ALS is defined as upper motor neuron and lower motor neuron findings in two of four anatomic regions, or upper motor neuron findings rostral to the lower motor neuron findings.
  • Confirmed diagnosis of Neuromuscular disease by either genetic testing, muscle biopsy or EMG (Electromyography)
  • Able to consent to participate in the study 

Exclusion Criteria: 

  • Cognitively Impaired
  • Diagnosis of Obesity, defined as having a BMD greater than 30
  • Evidence by EMG or Neuro-imaging supporting the possibility of another disease process 

Recruitment Status

Currently Recruiting