Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 1

Diagnosis and Testing

How do I get tested for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

A series of tests may be required to diagnose amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), since it may present in similar ways to other neuromuscular disorders. Studies may include:

  • Electromyography (EMG): A special recording technique that detects electrical activity in muscle
  • Nerve conduction study (NCS): A test that measures electrical energy by assessing the nerve's ability to send signals
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRIs are used to rule out other disorders. Patients with ALS will have normal MRIs.
  • Blood/urine samples: Used to rule out other disorders or illness that can look like ALS
  • Muscle biopsy: Used to rule out muscle disease
  • Genetic testing: Using DNA to test for variations in genes that are known to cause ALS

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