ALS News Today Forums Forums Navigating ALS Challenges Diagnosis​ ​Information​ ​and​ ​General​ ​Questions New tool to help non-ALS specialists to suspect an ALS diagnosis

  • New tool to help non-ALS specialists to suspect an ALS diagnosis

    Posted by dagmar-munn on October 12, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    [caption id="attachment_20723" align="aligncenter" width="286"] ALS Association Think ALS Tool[/caption]


    Recently, one of our forum members shared this unique flow-chart that is available on the ALS Association (ALSA) website. According to ASLA:

    “thinkALS is an easy-to-use and powerful diagnostic tool that can help reduce the time it takes to diagnose ALS and refer people to multidisciplinary ALS centers.”

    Click here to read more. You can also download a PDF of the chart from this page.

    NOTE: *This tool is aimed primarily at non-ALS specialists. This tool cannot be substituted as a diagnostic instrument but used only as a diagnostic guide. Always consult with your doctor when seeking diagnosis information.

    Questions for our forum members: Do you find this flowchart helpful in tracking your own symptoms? Would you feel comfortable sharing this chart with your physician? What suggestions do you have as to how more non-ALS specialists (and general practice physicians) could have better access to this tool?

    shannon-ward replied 1 year, 11 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • bill1949

    October 12, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Makes sense although a little simplistic. It seems to skip getting referred to a neurologist before the jump to an ALS clinic. My early symptoms clearly were a possible MND also possible cervical spine issue. My first referral was to a a neurosurgeon then to neurologist. I suppose I could have waited for neurologist to make a diagnosis but insisted on a referral to university neurologist where there was a strong ALS clinic. Neurologist just wanted to wait and see as I was very slow progression back then.  It would be sad if a neurologist needed that chart to know to refer someone. Also a pcp shouldn’t need it to know to refer to neurologist.

  • shannon-ward

    October 28, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    This is a good tool but only if the doctors who use it have the courage to share their concerns with the patient. Our experience was less than ideal. We had a speech therapist and an ENT doc both suspect a neurological problem but neither were brave enough to refer us to a neurologist. We lost precious time (when my husband could have been banking his voice) between January and May when we finally saw a neurologist and got the diagnosis. Nobody wants to deliver this news but the patient and family need it nonetheless.

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