UC Health Launches First Clinical Study in ALS


Contact: Cindy Starr
(513) 558-3505

rob-neel_160x220CINCINNATI – Researchers at the UC Health ALS Clinic hope to better identify when patients can benefit from non-invasive ventilation devices, which can improve quality of life during later stages of ALS and potentially prolong survival.

The observational study, the first clinical study in ALS led by researchers at UC Health and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, begins this month. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a progressive neuromuscular condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, impacts four out of every 100,000 Americans at any given time.

“This study is not looking at a therapy that will cure ALS,” says Robert Neel, MD, director of the UC Health ALS Clinic and the study’s principal investigator. “We are looking at potential predictors of when a patient should be provided with a BiPAP or AVAPS, which are non-invasive breathing-assist devices. If we start patients on the device earlier, they may feel better and survive longer.”

Currently, a pulmonary function test and nocturnal pulse oximetry are used to measure oxygen insufficiency and to gauge when a patient will benefit from a breathing-assist device. However, these require specialized pulmonary technicians (respiratory therapists) to perform.

“If we are able to identify physical exam predictors of the requirement, we may be able to develop a tool that can help better predict initiation of non-invasive ventilation for practitioners and patients,” Neel says.

To accomplish this, Neel and his colleagues will study data gathered from all ALS patients within the UC Health system.

Funding for the study comes from the Peck-Friedman ALS Fund and the generosity and advocacy of Mrs. Frances Schloss.

This entry was posted in Press Releases. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Print This Page
  • Make an Appointment: Schedule Now
  • Sign up for our newsletter!
  • UCNI Weekly Blog
  • Hope Stories

    • Dick’s Story: Ischemic Stroke

      Dick's Story: Ischemic Stroke As a firefighter who attends regular EMS drills, Dick Koeniger was well versed in the signs and symptoms of stroke. While driving home with a friend one evening last June, he suddenly noticed that his peripheral vision was slightly impaired....
    • Alicia’s Story: Multiple Sclerosis

      Alicia’s Story: Multiple SclerosisAlicia is relishing a life that is filled to the brim: she is a wife, a mother, a runner and a master at living with multiple sclerosis. Diagnosed in the late 1990s, Alicia had “a bumpy ride” in the beginning. But...
    • Adam’s Story: Post-accident Recovery

      Adam’s Story: Post-accident RecoveryAdam and two friends were tooling down the freeway on their motorcycles one fine Sunday last October when the accident occurred. Adam, who liked to feel the breeze on his shaved head, was not wearing a helmet. Changing lanes, he...
    • John’s Story: Epilepsy

      John's Story: Epilepsy In golf they call it a “bad lie.” A golfer strikes the ball, hoping to place it in a comfortable location on the fairway or the green, but the ball winds up somewhere else entirely – on the side of a...
    • Lynne’s Story: Brain Metastasis

      Lynne's Story: Brain MetastasisSemiretired and working part-time at a restaurant, Lynne knew something was amiss when she looked at the cash register and then struggled to make her hands produce the correct amount of change. Could she have suffered a stroke? Lynne pushed the...
    • Paula’s Story: Clot-Retriever Success

      Paula's Story: Clot-Retriever Success No one ever wants to suffer a stroke. But when Paula suffered a major, life-threatening stroke in September 2013 while working at a local deli, one might say that her timing was perfect. First and foremost, Paula got to the University...
    • Amber’s Story: Ruptured Aneurysm

      Amber's Story: Ruptured Aneurysm The only visible sign of Amber Gray’s ordeal is the long slender scar that runs along her forearm. It is the area where a surgeon carefully removed her radial artery, which was needed to bypass a damaged artery in her...
    • Charles Sabine’s Story: Huntington’s Disease

      Charles Sabine's Story: Huntington's DiseaseIn 2005 the NBC war correspondent Charles Sabine made the life-altering decision to face up to his family history of Huntington’s disease and undergo genetic testing. The odds, he knew, were 50-50 that he, too, had the gene and would...
    • Dale’s Hope Story: Parkinson’s

      Dale's Hope Story: Parkinson's [hana-flv-player video="/wp-content/videos/Dale_Ankeman_Sunflower_3.flv" width="500" height="377" description="" player="2" autoload="true" autoplay="false" loop="false" autorewind="true" /] After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2003, 46-year-old Dale Ankenman was determined not to let it keep him off his bike. Considering his long list of credentials, including former...
    • Christine’s Story: Stroke

      Christine's Story: StrokeThere was a sliver of a chance, maybe, and most likely the emergency room doctor thought there was no chance at all. Christine had arrived at the community hospital comatose, brought by her parents, who had come home after working...