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Sunnybrook ALS experts help develop first-ever Canadian guideline for ALS care

November 18, 2020


Neurologist and director of Sunnybrook’s ALS Clinic, Dr. Lorne Zinman, along with neurologists, Dr. Aaron Izenberg and Dr. Agessandro Abrahao, and respirologist, Dr. Anu Tandon, are among a 13-member pan-Canadian working group that have developed the first resource guide for people living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in Canada.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a degenerative motor neuron disease in which the brain gradually stops sending messages to muscles. Over time, patients experience paralysis, and the inability to talk, eat and breathe. There is no cure for ALS.

The first Canadian Best Practice Recommendations for the Management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is published in the latest issue of the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The guidelines are the first to be developed for Canadians and include more than 130 recommendations on best practices in ALS to help patients, their families and healthcare teams advocate for best care.

ALS Canada says proceeds from the 2014 viral Ice Bucket Challenge have “helped fund a comprehensive new resource to guide efforts to ensure people living with ALS in Canada receive the best possible care no matter where they live.”

Sunnybrook's ALS Clinic offers patients treatment from a multi-disciplinary team within the largest treatment centre for ALS in Canada. The team includes nursing, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, respirology, physiatry, and nutritional counseling. The clinic has also established a peer-support group to help connect ALS patients.