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ALS & Neurodegenerative Disease Center

The UCSF ALS & Neurodegenerative Disease Center provides comprehensive care for patients with progressive diseases in which nervous system cells lose function. These conditions include motor neuron diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

ALS attacks nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord, causing the body's motor neurons to waste away. The result is increasing muscle weakness and lack of coordination, leading to difficulty with mobility, speaking, swallowing and breathing. Proper treatment can help control symptoms and allow patients to maintain more independence in their daily lives.

Our ALS team is made up of specialists in many fields, including neurology; pulmonology; gastroenterology; diet and nutrition; communication; social work; and occupational, physical, speech and respiratory therapies. Our patients also have access to an orthotist, a specialist in braces and other devices to support weak muscles and joints. Representatives from local patient advocacy organizations offer support as well.

With all of us working together, we provide comprehensive care that's as effective as possible for each patient. Our patients may also be eligible to participate in clinical trials, studies to test promising new medications or other types of treatment.

Our program has been named a certified treatment center of excellence by the ALS Association. We are part of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences.

Learn more about clinical trials and how they work.

Our locations

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    Awards & recognition

    • usnews-neurology

      Among the top hospitals in the nation

    • usnews-neurology

      Best in California and No. 2 in the nation for neurology & neurosurgery

    • ALS certified treatment center of excellence

    Support services

    Patient Resource

    Case Management & Social Work

    Connect with a team that can help you find resources, solve problems and advocate for you during treatment at UCSF.


    Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Class

    This eight-week class teaches mindfulness practices that can reduce stress and improve your overall health, such as meditation and body awareness.

    Patient Resource

    Patient Relations

    We welcome feedback about your experience at UCSF Health. Find out how to contact us with comments, questions or concerns.

    Patient Resource

    Spiritual Care Services

    Chaplains representing many faiths are available around the clock to provide support, comfort and counsel to patients, families and caregivers.

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    International Services

    If you live outside the United States and are coming to UCSF for medical treatment, our patient liaisons can help coordinate all aspects of your visit.

    Learn more

    Interpreting Services

    UCSF offers interpreters in various languages, including American Sign Language (ASL), as well as services for deaf, hard-of-hearing and visually impaired patients.

    Learn more

    Hospital Stays

    Make your hospital stay as smooth and comfortable as possible by finding out how to prepare and what to expect.

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    Your Doctor Visit

    See our top 10 tips for making your UCSF doctor’s appointment as stress-free and productive as possible.

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    UCSF Help Center

    (888) 689-8273