Are the breathing problems in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatable?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Ventilation to assist with breathing problems in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an important element of lifespan extension. Several technologies of ventilation can help people with ALS to breathe. A variety of noninvasive breathing devices are available and can be effective when used only for some part of the day, for example, when sleeping. In the case of more advanced respiratory problems, a tracheostomy can be used to insert an air tube. A machine pumps air through the tube continually. One someone with ALS begins to use this method, it is unlikely that they will ever breathe on their own again.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.