Diagnosing ALS

No definitive diagnosis for ALS currently exists. The identification is based on a series of signs and symptoms and clinically ruling out other potential causes. Currently the clinical diagnosis for ALS takes an average of 12 months and can include any or all of the following:

  • electrodiagnostic tests including electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
  • blood and urine studies including high resolution serum protein electrophoresis, thyroid and parathyroid hormone levels and 24 hour urine collection for heavy metals
  • spinal tap
  • x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • myelogram of cervical spine
  • muscle and/or nerve biopsy
  • thorough neurological examination

The clinical diagnosis of ALS is made by eliminating disease mimics, those diseases that have many of the same initial symptoms as ALS. However during the extended period of time currently required for diagnosis, irreversible neuromuscular damage is being done and patient health and quality of life are deteriorating. A rapid and accurate diagnosis of ALS would be equally important to rapidly rule out ALS as the cause of the patient symptoms.

Iron Horse Diagnostics, Inc.