Diaphragm Pacing for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Patients at Swedish Medical Center, Denver
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease or Motor Neuron Disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. One of the most important effects of progressive neuromuscular weakness in patients with ALS is the effect of the disease on respiration.
Although ALS has no direct effect on the lungs, it has devastating effects on the mechanical function of the respiratory system. ALS affects all of the major respiratory muscle groups: upper airway muscles, expiratory muscles, and inspiratory muscles.
Therefore, all patients with ALS are at significant risk for respiratory complications.
To help manage this complication, Swedish Medical Center offers a procedure in which a NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System® is implanted to decrease a patient’s reliance on a ventilator. Patients with spinal cord injuries may be candidates for the procedure as well.