Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Richard S. Bedlack, Nanette Joyce, Gregory T. Carter, Sabrina Paganoni, Chafic Karam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Given the severity of their illness and lack of effective disease-modifying agents, it is not surprising that most patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) consider trying complementary and alternative therapies. Some of the most commonly considered alternative therapies include special diets, nutritional supplements, cannabis, acupuncture, chelation, and energy healing. This article reviews these in detail. The authors also describe 3 models by which physicians may frame discussions about alternative therapies: paternalism, autonomy, and shared decision making. Finally, the authors review a program called ALSUntangled, which uses shared decision making to review alternative therapies for ALS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-936
Number of pages28
JournalNeurologic Clinics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Autonomy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Paternalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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