Who Is this Clinic For?
The Neuromuscular Clinic is for adults with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease), post-polio syndrome, muscle diseases, nerve diseases, or myasthenia gravis. The members of this clinic health care team have special knowledge of these diseases. Family members and caregivers are also welcome to come to the clinic.
How Often Do Patients Come to the Clinic?
Patients come to this clinic over the course of their disease, beginning with the first diagnosis. Some patients will find it helpful to attend each clinic; others will attend less often according to their personal needs.
The Clinic's Goals
Our goal is to make the quality of life better by making better the daily abilities of people with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease), post-polio syndrome, muscle diseases, nerve diseases or myasthenia gravis. Both patients and health team members see the need for better planning of care because of the complex nature of these illnesses.
This clinic allows patients to see a number of team members in one location, removing the need to move from one clinic to another.
Health Care Team
Our team members have special knowledge in treating patients with ALS, post-polio syndrome, muscle diseases, nerve diseases or myasthenia gravis. We work together as a team to provide the best possible care in a way that meets patients' needs:
- Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, MD, Neurologist: Diagnoses and assists in the treatment of patients with neuromuscular disorders.
- Priscilla Robichaud, RN, CCM: Plans care, helps with resources, and is the contact person for the Neuromuscular Team.
- Kathy Robinson and Marilyn Cocke, Physical Therapist: Helps patients to improve their ability to move, walk, breathe and perform daily activities.
- James Perry, Occupational Therapist: Helps patients with aspects of daily living: self-care, work and play.
- Mary Sue Turner, Speech-Language Pathologist: Works with speaking disorders (i.e. slurred speech (dysarthria), no voice (aphonia) and reduced oral-motor function), and swallowing and nutrition issues.
- Yoni Stevens, MSW, Social Worker: Helps patients with the emotional, social and financial impact of ALS.
This clinic is held every month for a period of three and one half-hours, 1:00-4:30 PM. The patient will have a 30-minute appointment with each team member. The team members will study and talk about the patient's present health and other questions as they come up. The patient and family member stays in one exam room and the team members go in and out of that exam room. This lets the patient and family member stay in one place. A sample schedule is on the back of this page. Patients will see the team members suited to their needs; so in some cases, patients will not see every member of the health team.
- 1:00 Dr. Cohen
- 2:00 Physical Therapist
- 2:30 Speech Pathologist
- 3:00 Occupational Therapist
- 3:30 Social Worker
ALS Support Group
This clinic also offers patients the choice of meeting with other people with ALS in a support group setting. This support group is led by a social worker.
Travel and Financial Support
Our social worker can help patients who need travel help to visit this clinic and/or who have insurance questions.
This clinic is a member of the New England ALS Consortium and will be involved in clinical trials. For further information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Cohen at (603) 650-5104.