Changes in the management of ALS since the publication of the AAN ALS Practice Parameter 1999

Walter G. Bradley, F. Anderson, R. G. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine if the publication in 1999 of the AAN Practice Parameter on ALS was associated with an improvement in the standard of management of the disease. Methods: Data on 646 patients enrolled in the ALS CARE database and on 465 patients who died in the period May 2001 to November 2002 were compared with similar data obtained from the database from 1996 to May 1999. Results: The specialty ALS clinics were the most important source of information about ALS. The internet was a source for 39%. The treatment of sialorrhea, pseudobulbar emotional lability, and failure of swallowing and breathing had all improved significantly in the period after the publication of the Practice Parameter. However many patients still did not receive a gastrostomy tube or non-invasive positive pressure ventilation when indicated by the Practice Parameter, mainly because of lack of patient compliance. Cost was the main reason why 41% of patients did not receive riluzole, though they spent a third of the cost of this medication on alternative medicines. Conclusions: The publication of the AAN Practice Parameter was associated with improvement in the standard of care. Most cases in the database come from specialized ALS centers, and further information on the community care of ALS patients is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-244
Number of pages5
JournalAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Database
  • Management
  • Practice parameter
  • Quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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