Occupational Therapy for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects the motor neurons, which are responsible for controlling voluntary muscles. It belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases.


There are several different types of and subtypes of ALS including:


Causes of ALS include; 

Risk Factors

The risk factors for ALS include age, genetics, gender, race and ethnicity, smoking and head trauma. 


Common symptoms of ALS include; 

Occupational Therapy Specialism

Occupational Therapists who specialise in assessing and treating people who have ALS are based in a branch of Occupational Therapy called Neurorehabilitation.

Common Difficulties associated with ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects the motor neurons, leading to various difficulties and challenges for individuals with the condition. Here are some common difficulties associated with ALS:

Mobility and Weakness

Fine Motor Skills

Speech Difficulties

Swallowing Issues (Dysphagia)

Respiratory Complications


Emotional and Psychological Impact

Pain and Discomfort

Loss of Independence

Cognitive and Behavioral Changes

How can Occupational Therapy help?

Occupational therapy (OT) can play a crucial role in helping individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects motor neurons, leading to muscle weakness and atrophy. Here are some ways in which occupational therapy can assist individuals with ALS:

Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Technology

Home Modifications

Energy Conservation Techniques

Joint Protection Strategies

Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Training

Communication Strategies

Cognitive and Emotional Support

Caregiver Training

End-of-Life Planning