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J Neurol. 1997 Oct;244 Suppl 4:S11-7.

Palliative care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Munich, Klinikum Groflhadern, Munich, Germany.


The poor prognosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) makes palliative care a challenge for the neurologist. Most disabilities associated with progressive disease can be ameliorated by symptomatic treatment. Prognosis and treatment options should be openly discussed with the patient and his/her relatives. Nutritional deficiency due to pronounced dysphagia can be efficiently relieved by a percutaneous enterogastrostomy. Respiratory insufficiency can be treated by non-invasive ventilation at home, provided the familial environment is supportive. Adequate assistance and palliative treatment in the terminal phase is of paramount importance.

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