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Al

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Help is here for ALS patients

Article Last Updated: 03/04/2007 08:42:37 PM PST

Patients living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (better- known as Lou Gehrig's disease) can get ready for the grand opening of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the ALS Association's Center for ALS Care in Agoura Hills. The grand opening takes place Saturday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and will be followed by an "Ask the Experts" symposium titled "Improving the Lives of ALS Patients Through Treatment, Education, Research and Hope."

Well-known neuromuscular disease researcher Dr. Robert H. Brown will serve as keynote speaker. The new center will service ALS patients living in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Santa Barbara and portions of Inyo counties. Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Dr. Ian Wilmut, known for cloning Dolly the sheep, also will appear.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. When the cells die, voluntary muscle control deteriorates, and patients eventually become paralyzed. "The need for a dedicated ALS center has long been established, but we did not have the financial manpower or resources to fully realize its vision before partnering with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center," said Fred Fisher, president and CEO of the chapter.

Cedars-Sinai and the chapter both believe that the center is necessary to ease the burden for patients, caregivers and their families, who spend much of their time traveling to and from multiple doctors. "The unique aspect of this center is that patients are seen by many different medical specialists in one place at one time," said center director Dr. Abirami Muthukumaran.

While the center is designed to provide care for patients, it will also serve as a research facility to find more effective treatment options.

Registration is at 8 a.m. Saturday, and the ceremony starts at 9 a.m. at the Harvey Morse Auditorium at Cedars-Sinai Medial Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information, call (818) 865-8067, call the patient hotline at (866) 750-2572, or go online to webgla.alsa.org
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This article was taken from the alsindependenceca newsletter.
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