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Study: Implicit Bias, Late Diagnosis Create Critical ALS Healthcare Gap

CU Boulder Study

Neurology fellow finds diagnostic delays in Black ALS patients prevents life-altering therapies.

It was only his first visit to a hospital’s ALS clinic, but already the Black patient’s amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) had progressed beyond a point for an effective intervention. This memory sticks with Zach Cox, DO, who at the time was a resident at the multidisciplinary ALS clinic in Richmond, Va.

“It was a sad situation in which he was already experiencing lots of difficulties with breathing,” said Cox, who performed his residency at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and is currently a neuromuscular fellow in the Department of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (SOM). “The disease had progressed to a point where a lot of the interventions you could have done to improve the patient’s quality of life were no longer feasible.”

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