Nutritional Support in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • Theocharis Stavroulakis
  • Christopher J. McDermott


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating, degenerative disorder of the motor neurons, causing weakness and wasting of muscles controlling limb movement, speech, swallowing, and breathing. Malnutrition and weight loss occur frequently and are associated with increased morbidity, disability, and mortality. The main causes of malnutrition are driven by a combination of disease consequences, including suboptimal oral intake, muscle atrophy, and hypermetabolism. The nutritional care of patients is a crucial element of disease management. During the early stages of ALS, monitoring of nutritional status, assessment of swallowing, dietary advice, food fortification, and provision of oral nutrition support are all key aspects of nutritional management. With disease progression, gastrostomy feeding becomes necessary for many patients to help maintain their nutritional status. This chapter presents the current practice and evidence on the effectiveness of nutritional interventions on key outcomes such as survival, disease course, and nutritional status.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient Enteral Feeding Gastrostomy Tube 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theocharis Stavroulakis
    • 1
  • Christopher J. McDermott
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN)The University of SheffieldSheffieldUK

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