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ALS patients differ on treatment choices in later phases of disease
Date:4/20/2012

shown that waiting too long can be detrimental and happens too often. In general, it is important for clinicians and patients to proactively prepare and reevaluate treatment decisions as ALS patients enter into different phases of the disease."

In a second study, researchers found polarized treatment preferences regarding Riluzole, the first FDA approved treatment to slow ALS. Patients had sharply polarized preferences about this expensive treatment, which modestly prolongs length of life of ALS patients. In a survey of 98 patients with ALS or Motor Neuron Disease, nearly two-thirds of the patients ranked Riluzole as either the most important (30 percent) or least important (33 percent) treatment option.

"It is important to ask patients how they value their treatments, as in this case, we learned that patients who are older and looking for a high quality of life, valued this drug considerably more than people with impaired walking ability, who instead preferred supportive therapies like adaptive equipment," said Leo McCluskey, MD, professor of Neurology and director of the Penn ALS Center. "Overall, medical care providers should work with patients to discuss treatment options throughout the progression of the disease to ensure a high quality of end-of-life care."


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Contact: Kim Menard
kim.menard@uphs.upenn.edu
215-200-2312
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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