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. Our goal is to make the quality of life better by improving the daily abilities of people with these complex diseases.
This clinic allows patients to see a number of team members in one location, removing the need to move from one clinic to another. Family members and caregivers are also welcome to 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.
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 therapists: 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
The clinic is held every month for a period of three and one half-hours, from 1:00 to 4:30 pm.
Each patient has a 30-minute appointment with each team member. During these appointments, the team members will study and talk about the patient's present health and address other questions as they come up.
The patient and family member stays in one exam room for the entire clinic. Team members take turns seeing the patient in that exam room. This lets the patient and family member stay in one place.
Patients see only the team members suited to their needs; so in some cases, patients will not see every member of the health team. Below is a sample schedule.
- 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 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.