What are the complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: Carmel Armon, MD, MSc, MHS; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHCM, CPE, FAAPL  more...
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Complications of ALS can include the following:

  • Progressive inability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), including handling utensils for self feeding

  • Deterioration of ambulation

  • Aspiration pneumonia

  • Respiratory insufficiency

  • Complications from being wheelchair-bound or bedridden, including decubitus ulcers and skin infections (while rare in patients with ALS, these complications can emerge if appropriate padding is not used)

  • Deep vein thromboses and pulmonary emboli (these are rare in patients with ALS, but have been encountered with greater frequency in the active treatment arm of some clinical trials)

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