A diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, can be overwhelming. The goal of Riverside’s ALS Clinic is to bring together the clinical specialists and therapists in one place to care for patients living with the disease. In addition to reducing the burden of coordinating and traveling to many different appointments, bringing the entire multi-disciplinary team together in one place allows for the clinicians to work together to help each patient and their family or caregivers address their unique concerns. In fact, research has demonstrated that a multidisciplinary care clinic model can help patients achieve longer life longevity and higher quality of life.

About ALS

ALS is a progressive, degenerative nerve disease which causes the nerves to deteriorate over time. This impacts the ability of the brain to control muscles throughout the body.

The symptoms of ALS are unique for each individual, but most of the time the initial onset is gradual. Some people first have issues with muscles in the mouth and throat, which impacts speech or swallowing. Others first notice problems in their limbs with weakness in arms or legs.

There is no cure for ALS. As the disease progresses, more areas of the body are impacted. Eventually most patients experience paralysis, trouble swallowing and difficulty breathing. ALS does not impact seeing or hearing.

There is no one test for ALS, so a diagnosis is often reached by eliminating other possible diagnoses. This process may include lab tests, spinal taps, biopsies, diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI, and electrodiagnostic tests such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS).

Currently there is no treatment which can delay or slow the progression of the disease. The FDA has approved a few medications that may delay the rapidness of decline in certain parts of the body for some people. Other research is ongoing to continue ways to diagnose, prevent, slow and reverse the disease.

Most treatment is focused on addressing affected areas to achieve as high a quality of life as possible. This can include working with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapy and dieticians. Some medications may help manage symptoms, such as muscle cramping.

The Team

The ALS Clinic team includes representatives from many disciplines in order to best meet the needs of our patients and their caregivers. The team caring for any given patient may include experts in neurology, pharmacy, nutrition, speech language pathology, care coordination, communication equipment specialists and physical, occupational and respiratory therapists.

Robert Baldwin, M.D., a neuromuscular trained neurologist and the Medical Director of Riverside’s ALS Clinic, leads the team of neurologists within the practice that treat ALS patients. The Riverside ALS Clinic is held at the Riverside Neurology Specialists – Hampton office location.

Riverside Rehabilitation Services
Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech Language Pathology are provided onsite at the ALS Clinic.

Riverside Outpatient Nutrition Services

Riverside Respiratory Therapy

Riverside Pharmaceutical Services

ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter

Appointments & Referrals

Individuals who have already been diagnosed with ALS can call the clinic directly to schedule an appointment at 757-637-7500.

Individuals who do not yet have a diagnosis need to first be evaluated by a member of the neurology team at Riverside Neurology Specialists who will then refer them to the clinic.

Physician referrals can be faxed to 757-637-7541. Consultation and evaluation with a member of the neurology team must be made prior to the first clinic visit.

Dates & Location

Riverside’s ALS Clinic is held monthly at the Riverside Neurology Specialists – Hampton location.

Riverside Neurology Specialists – Hampton
850 Enterprise Parkway, Suite 1400
Hampton, VA 23666

Support Services & Resources

There are both national and local resources available to help ALS patients and their caregivers.

Riverside’s ALS Support Group
This support group for patients and caregivers is held the 4th Wednesday of each month, 5:30 – 6:30 pm. Open this PDF for more details on how to attend in person or via Zoom.

ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter