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Diagnosing ALS at Stanford
At Stanford, our experienced subspecialist doctors focus on recognizing the subtle, early signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which gives them an advantage in determining when to order further testing earlier in the diagnosis process.
Diagnosing ALS may involve:
- Complete medical history and physical examination
- Electrodiagnostic tests (EMG/NCS): Our neuromuscular neurologists assess muscle and nerve function using a machine that measures electrical signals in individual muscles and nerves. Learn more about electromyography.
- Laboratory tests: Tests may be performed to check your blood and urine for heavy metals, proteins, vitamins, etc.
- Imaging studies: Your doctor may want you to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Learn more about MRI.
- Lumbar puncture: Also called a spinal tap, this test examines your spinal fluid for abnormalities. Learn more about spinal tap.
- Biopsy: Muscle and nerve cells are examined under a microscope.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.