The ThinkALS tool was developed by the ALS Association to assist clinicians in the ALS differential diagnosis process. On average, ALS takes one year from time of onset to a definitive diagnosis. The obvious reason a rapid diagnosis is not possible is that a diagnostic biomarker for ALS does not yet exist. That is to say, you cannot run a lab test on a nasal swab and detect ALS, but rather every other condition must be ruled out first. Conditions commonly confused with ALS include spinal muscular atrophy, peripheral neuropathies, infections such as Lyme disease and hepatitis C that cause muscular weakness, Parkinson’s Disease, and behavioral variants of frontal temporal dementia. If you are interested in reading more about the ALS diagnostic delay and potential solutions, we encourage you to read the previous MOFF blogs listed at the bottom of this post.
MOFF will be distributing this ThinkALS tool to primary care practices in 2022 in an effort to identify people living with ALS earlier and refer them to an ALS specialist (neurologist) as soon as possible.
Call to Action: Print and share, or email this tool to your primary care physician’s office. Start a conversation about ALS with your health care provider. The more we talk about it, the more awareness we will raise, and the earlier ALS patients can get the medical team they need.
Click the image above to access the PDF version
For further information on the ThinkALS tool, visit this webpage.