How is ALS Diagnosed?

There is no one procedure or test used to diagnose of ALS, making it difficult to properly identify. Through a series of tests and clinical examinations, ALS can be diagnosed, but often not before ruling out other diseases that mimic ALS. A comprehensive list of procedures for someone to be tested on, typically include:

  • Electrodiagnostic tests including electomyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity (NCV)
  • Blood and urine studies including high resolution serum protein electrophoresis, thyroid and parathyroid hormone levels and 24-hour urine collection for heavy metals
  • Spinal tap
  • X-rays, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Myelogram of cervical spine
  • Muscle and/or nerve biopsy
  • Neurological examination