Respiratory and Nutritional Support in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Namita A. Goyal
  • Tahseen Mozaffar
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuromuscular Disorders

Opinion statement

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an uncommon and almost invariably fatal neurodegenerative disease. There is no known cure for ALS, and only one disease-modifying therapy is currently approved. In the absence of robust pharmacologic treatment options, the value of nutritional and respiratory support in the management of the disease should not be underestimated. The primary causes of morbidity and mortality in ALS are complications from dysphagia, leading to malnutrition and respiratory insufficiency, and these require focused therapeutic attention. This article reviews the current evidence for nutritional and respiratory support in the management of ALS patients.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ALS Respiratory support Nutritional support Respiratory insufficiency Noninvasive ventilation Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy Enteral nutrition Diaphragmatic pacing 



American Academy of Neurology


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Body mass index


Diaphragmatic pacing stimulators


Enteral nutrition


Forced vital capacity


High-frequency chest wall oscillation


Inspiratory airway pressure


Mechanical insufflation/exsufflation


Maximal inspiratory pressure


Maximal mouth-inspiratory force


Noninvasive positive pressure ventilation


Noninvasive ventilation


Peak cough expiratory flow


Transdiaphragmatic pressure


Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy


Parenteral nutrition


Radiologically inserted gastrostomy


Sniff nasal inspiratory pressure


Slow vital capacity


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Namita A. Goyal and Tahseen Mozaffar declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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