SAN ANTONIO -

Also known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, ALS is a devastating and deadly disease that can rob patients of their abilities to swallow, speak, move and breathe.

Yet Dr. Carlayne Jackson, a neurologist with UT Medicine, said it has taken the one stop approach to treating ALS.

Instead of going from clinic to clinic, Jackson said patients and their families can see several therapists every three months at its ALS clinic at UT Medicine’s Medical Arts and Research Center at 8300 block Floyd Curl.

“This clinic is a godsend to us,” said Kathy Durbin, whose husband, Leon, was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. “All of our questions are answered and you have all the specialists come to you.”

Her husband said, “This office has been very good, performing all these tests, telling me whether the disease has progressed or not.”

Jackson said the clinic that follows 200 patients is the only one of its kind in South Texas.

“In one afternoon, they have access to physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, dieticians, social work, neurology,” Jackson said.

The clinic also receives support from the ALS Association that is holding its annual “Defeat ALS” walk Oct. 26th at San Pedro Park. Sign up is at 10 a.m., with the walk starting at 11 a.m.

The ALS Association also helps to provide the medical equipment that patients will need to help improve their quality of life, such as a talking computer.

One of the patients, Valinda Holcomb, patiently typed, “Thank you for helping me.”