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, 24 (15 Suppl), S327-S335

Disease-modifying Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • PMID: 30207671

Disease-modifying Treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Jordan Schultz. Am J Manag Care.


Currently, there is no cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the foundation of ALS management revolves around symptomatic and palliative care. Early diagnosis offers the best prognosis for a longer, quality life while living with the disease. Many medications are used to relieve symptoms but there are only 2 pharmacologic agents indicated for the management of ALS. For 2 decades, riluzole had been the mainstay of disease-modifying therapy, but in 2017, edaravone became the second agent approved in the management of patients with ALS. The mechanism of either agent is not well known. Riluzole is thought to reduce damage to motor neurons through an inhibitory effect on glutamate release, while edaravone is thought to act as a neuroprotective agent that prevents oxidative stress damage as a free radical scavenger. With the lack of treatment options, it is imperative for healthcare professionals to understand the nuances of using these 2 agents to optimize therapy and quality of life for patients with ALS.

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