Research & Patient Center

The Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center

The Lois Insolia ALS Clinic at the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine was established in 1986 as one of the first such multidisciplinary ALS clinics in the country and the very first in Chicago with funds from the James V. Insolia Family Foundation and the Les Turner ALS Foundation. At the Clinic, trained specialists use a team approach to provide comprehensive treatment. They are dedicated to the total care and support of people with ALS, their families and caregivers. During a visit, patients meet with several members of the team, and each provides input regarding assessment, care planning, education and other health care needs.

The Neuromuscular Disorders Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is also actively involved in multi-center drug trials. For a listing of current drug trials, please visit the clinical trials section of the Neuromuscular Disorders Program website.

The Lois Insolia ALS Clinic is part of Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine’s Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology. The Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology is ranked #1 in Illinois and is one of the top 10 programs in the nation in neurologic education, research and clinical care. Northwestern is ranked by U.S. News as one of the top 10 hospitals nationwide for neurology and neurosurgery, making it the top-ranked Chicagoland hospital in this specialty. Northwestern and the Les Turner ALS Foundation are proud to bring world-class care to people living with ALS in Chicago and the surrounding areas.

In addition to providing diagnostic, rehabilitative and support services to the ALS community, staff at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic shares their knowledge at ALS conferences around the country and around the world. They are recognized by their peers for their dedication and expertise.

To make an appointment at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic, please call 312 695 7950. Patients are seen by appointment only. The clinical nurse coordinator will make your appointment and discuss the schedule of your visit.

The Insolia Family: 30 Years of Support

Shortly after losing his wife, Lois, to ALS, James Insolia and his family attended a Les Turner ALS Foundation support group, led by Anne Lidsky. James was so moved with a deep sense of empathy for other families living with ALS, he knew he needed to find a way to help those who were suffering. So in 1986, in partnership with the Les Turner ALS Foundation, he established the Lois Insolia ALS Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, one of the first multidisciplinary clinics in the country and the first in Chicago.

Today, the renamed Lois Insolia ALS Clinic is a part of the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine and provides a comprehensive, patient-centered system of care that serves as a model for ALS treatment around the world.

After James’ passing, his son, Greg, and his sister, Gia, have continued this legacy of support through the James, V. Insolia Family Foundation. Additionally, Greg and his wife, Rosemary, have been longtime active supporters of the Foundation. Since 1986, the Insolia family has contributed well over a million dollars to continue the legacy of Lois and to provide the highest level of care for people with ALS.

“My father felt strongly that a multidisciplinary patient clinic for those living with ALS was critical in the Chicagoland area,” Greg Insolia said. “It’s an  honor to have helped establish and provide that resource for over 30 years through the Les Turner ALS Research and Patient Center at Northwestern Medicine while carrying on the memory of my mother.  Our family looks forward to continuing this partnership for years to come.”


During your visit, you may meet with one or more of the following:

The neurologist performs detailed examinations, monitors the course of the disease, provides medical therapy to treat specific symptoms and manages the team’s efforts.
The pulmonologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of lung conditions and diseases. The pulmonologist assesses a patient’s respiratory status and helps maximize their respiratory function.
The nurse coordinator evaluates individual health care needs, plans and implements medical treatment, contacts appropriate community resources, makes referrals, provides education and serves as the overall coordinator for clinic services.
The research coordinator shares information about current drug studies at the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic, screens prospective participants, organizes medical records needed for the study, conducts study sessions with ALS physicians and attends scientific meetings.
The dietician assesses nutritional needs, coordinates proper diet therapy, and educates patients and their families on proper nutrition for improved quality of life.
The genetic counselor works primarily with patients who have the inherited form of ALS known as “familial ALS.” The genetic counselor acts as a liaison between patient, family, laboratory and physicians and educates families about inheritance patterns and risk factors.
The Director of Patient Services is the primary Foundation contact for patients and families. The Director also serves as a liaison between the Lois Insolia ALS Clinic and the Foundation and provides in-person and telephone support and referrals, information on support group meetings and administers loan banks of medical and communication equipment.
The occupational therapist evaluates and enhances the patient’s ability to perform normal, everyday tasks. The therapist can recommend special adaptive equipment, provide exercise programs and suggest other ways to manage daily activities such as eating, dressing and hygiene.
The respiratory therapist assists the pulmonologist with respiratory care.
Specially trained in speech and swallowing disorders, the speech pathologist helps the patient maintain speech and swallowing function or adapt to alternative communication systems if speech is no longer understandable.
 

Meet our world-class ALS researchers:

Dr. Teepu Siddique

Dr. Teepu Siddique

The Les Turner ALS Research Laboratory led by Teepu Siddique, MD, focuses on understanding the processes by which ALS progresses so that effective treatments can be developed. The lab was first dedicated in 1979 and has been directed by Dr. Siddique since 1991.

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Dr. P. Hande Ozdinler

Dr. Hande Ozdinler

This lab, opened in 2008, focuses on the motor neurons which reside in the brain and connect with motor neurons in the spinal cord to initiate and control movement. These two motor neuron populations progressively degenerate in ALS patients, and therefore require immediate attention.

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Kiskinis Lab

Dr. Evangelos Kiskinis

The Les Turner ALS Foundation Research Laboratory led by Dr. Evangelos Kiskinis opened in January 2015. Dr. Kiskinis works on understanding the level and nature of heterogeneity in ALS and to identify points of effective and targeted therapeutic intervention.

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Hope and help for people with ALS.

Your contribution helps support the vast majority of the Chicagoland ALS population.