Barrow Neurological Institute opens ALS center

Apr 16, 2014, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:00 pm

PHOENIX — Patients suffering with ALS now have a new ally in battling the debilitating disease.

After their son, Gregory, died from ALS in 2011, Ira and Mary Lou Fulton donated $2.7 million to the Barrow Neurological Institute to help create the Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disorders Center.

The 32,000 square-foot facility opened last December and “is expected to become a national leader in clinical research,” Dignity Health said in a press release.

According to Dr. Shafeeq Ladha, the center’s clinical director, the Fulton ALS Center will serve as a “one-stop shop for patients to receive all their ALS care.”

Care that includes clinical trials where researchers will directly interact with the patients and their families.

“We believe that we will be leaders in bringing new drugs to the forefront,” said Dr. Robert Bowser, director of the Fulton ALS Center. “Some of these will be tested for the first time ever on patients at our center.”

The center will also provide aid to those with muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the New York Yankees first baseman was diagnosed with it in 1939. It is a “progressive and neurodegenerative disease in which the cells that control voluntary muscle movements die, leading to paralysis and, ultimately death.”

The cause remains unknown and there is no cure.

Dignity Health

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Barrow Neurological Institute opens ALS center